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 3 months
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to build a new bridge linking Minnesota and Wisconsin, even though newly drawn congressional districts mean she will no longer represent the area where the bridge would be built.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.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's best-known U.S. House member will seek re-election in a district where she does not live and its top-ranking federal representative will run in slightly less friendly territory after a five-judge panel on Tuesday redrew congressional district lines. For the most part, the judges Tuesday lived up to their pledge to make few changes as they balanced population in the state's eight U.S. House districts.
ST. PAUL -- A 64-year-old man who confessed to sexually molesting 29 youths is scheduled to become the first person to leave a state hospi-tal sex offender treatment program, prompting the Minnesota House Monday to vote 127-1 to change state law so the public is notified near the halfway house where he is going. The Senate is expected to pass the bill Thursday and Gov.
ST. PAUL -- The Senate's top Democrat does not believe literature some Republicans handed out at the Feb. 7 precinct caucuses cost just $47. And Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, demands that the Senate Rules Committee take up the matter. Fifteen GOP senators planned to hand out fliers printed in the Capitol at state expense. It contained a link to donate to Republican candidates, which Democrats say violates a law that prohibits state-funded campaign material. Senate GOP Communications Director Steve Sviggum admitted to the mistake and said it was his fault.
ST. PAUL --- The most important day of the 2012 Minnesota legislative session, for some at least, will be Tuesday. That is the day when a state judicial panel is expected to release new legislative and congressional district maps.
ST. PAUL -- School officials could lay off teachers based on their effectiveness rather than just how long they have taught under a bill Minnesota representatives approved 68-61 Thursday. "We have an urgency," Rep. Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton, said. "We have students waiting for an answer to why they are not learning at the level where they should." The bill would not begin the new policy until 2016. Then, school boards would use teachers' effectiveness and what subjects they teach as part of the decision about whether to lay off or demote teachers.
ST. PAUL -- White Earth Nation's proposal to build a Twin Cities casino that could help fund a new Vikings stadium received little support from key policymakers Thursday after the tribe's leader said it would be the best option for Minnesotans. A casino operated by the tribe could be a fall-back plan, but probably not this year, the chief Minnesota House stadium proponent said. "They are not in play right now," Rep.