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 2 months
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers from both parties signal they plan to use last year's rough budget debate as foundation for this year's legislative election campaigns. With all 201 legislative seats up for election, Minnesotans will hear a lot about state spending. And the two sides will spin the budget outcome. House Minority Leader Rep. Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, appears eager to bring up the issue. He called the two-year budget passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Smiles surrounding a Minnesota Vikings stadium announcement seemed to indicate victory, but in reality they represented something else: a beginning. "Now, the real work begins, persuading a majority of the Minneapolis City Council and the Minnesota Legislature to approve this agreement," Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's economy is doing better than the country, helping generate a modest state budget surplus, but that does not translate into extra money. That is because the money, in essence, already is spent. State finance officials Wednesday announced a $323 million projected surplus, because a little more revenue is coming in and, mostly, less money is being spent.
ST. PAUL -- The annual debate about how early to allow school to begin is headed for the full Minnesota House. The House Education Reform Committee on Tuesday sent a bill to the House allowing schools to begin before Labor Day, but would not allow classes on the Thursday and Friday before the end-of-summer holiday. "It is about giving locally elected school boards the ability to adopt a school calendar that best meets the needs of their community," bill sponsor Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Legislative Republicans put a high priority on keeping government out of businesses' way, and making it easier for firms to build is keystone of the effort. "We need to be friendly with businesses," Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, said Tuesday after a Senate committee advanced his bill to speed the permitting process. Bills that Ingebrigtsen and Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Michele Bachmann spent the summer and fall in Iowa, hoping to gain traction as a presidential candidate. While in the state to the south, the Iowa native's favorite line seemed to be: "Everything I needed to know in life I learned in Iowa." She told audience after audience, "I'm an Iowan," and usually did not mention Minnesota. When she left Iowa at age 12, she did not take the news from her mother well: "She told me that we were going to move to this exotic, faraway place -- I had hardly ever heard of it before -- called Minnesota.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers are considering allowing bigger and aerial fireworks. They already are being used, Rep. John Kriesel said, because they are brought in from Wisconsin, South Dakota and North Dakota. "My neighborhood sounds like Fallujah," said the Cottage Grove Republican, who lost both legs in an explosion near Fallujah during the Iraq war. Kriesel said Minnesota loses revenue from forbidding fireworks available in neighboring states.
ST. PAUL -- U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann said she will continue efforts to build a new bridge linking Minnesota and Wisconsin, even though newly drawn congressional districts mean she will no longer represent the area where the bridge would be built. "I have committed to building this bridge," Bachmann said in an interview. On Tuesday, a Minnesota judicial panel released new legislative and congressional maps that removed much of Bachmann's Washington County territory.
ST. PAUL -- A judge deciding the fate of a child care providers' union election said Wednesday that Gov.