Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
- Member for
- 4 years 8 months
ST. PAUL -- The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act may simply be called "Obamacare," but no one calls it simple. And despite its name, Americans should not expect health-care costs to drop any time soon. The law was signed two years ago, but most who would be affected waited to see what the courts and voters decided before digging too deeply into it.
ST. PAUL -- More than 76 percent of Minnesota's eligible voters cast ballots Nov. 6, best in the country, but the state's top election official says even more would participate if they could vote early. In this year's election, 2,950,780 Minnesotans voted. That is the most ever, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said, and while final numbers are not in, he said he is sure Minnesota has the highest percentage in the country. "We're No. 1 by many," he said. Ritchie's comments came after the State Canvassing Board approved returns from Nov. 6 voting.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Vikings say Gov. Mark Dayton and others are jumping the gun in criticizing the idea of selling pricey seats to some season-ticket holders. In strong language, Dayton wrote to Vikings owners complaining about their interest in selling high-priced seat licenses to raise money that would count toward the team's contribution to a new nearly $1 billion stadium.
ST. PAUL -- A farm bill awaiting congressional action is being viewed more and more as a partial solution to the federal government's debt and budget crisis. The farm bill and impending "fiscal cliff" are being linked because new federal farm policy could produce billions of dollars in savings. "There is a growing recognition that this could be part of the puzzle," said Sen. Kent Conrad, the North Dakota Democrat who leads the Senate Budget Committee and is a key player in fiscal cliff negotiations. Added U.S. Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No.
MINNEAPOLIS -- America's agriculture industry needs to be patient. Jennifer Duffy of The Cook Political Report said Tuesday that an overall budget-debt deal needs to happen before Congress can pass new federal farm policy. "I don't know how they pass anything that deals with revenue without dealing with the fiscal cliff," Duffy said, using a term in vogue about federal government budget problems due after Dec.
ST. PAUL -- It was easy to tell Democrats from Republicans in the Minnesota Capitol Wednesday, the day after the party snatched back control of the House and Senate. The Democrats were the ones wearing huge smiles. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party won all the big prizes in Tuesday's election, but the one with most impact on Minnesotans is taking control of the state Legislature. That gives the party its first trifecta in more than two decades: control of the state House, Senate and governor's office. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans became the first state to reject a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Since a state law remains on the books, the vote does not automatically allow same-sex weddings. However, with a newly elected Democratic-Farmer-Laborite Legislature and governor, the subject is bound to be debated when lawmakers take office in January. Thirty other states approved the proposal when voters were asked.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota voters do not want to prove who they are. Forty-six percent of voters Tuesday wanted to amend the state Constitution to require a photo ID before voting, but 50 percent was needed. The Minnesota vote went against a trend in other states to approve voter ID. Election officials said they know of little voter fraud and said the constitutional amendment would cost millions of dollars, but supporters said that democracy demands fair elections.
ST. PAUL -- Presidential candidates have all but ignored Minnesota. The U.S. Senate race has been a snoozer, as have some U.S. House races. But get down the ballot a ways and two proposed constitutional amendments have generated plenty of sparks.