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
- 2 years 7 months
ST. PAUL -- A bill headed to the governor reinstates medical coverage for 70,000 Minnesotans making less than $8,000 per year. The House voted 121-12 and the Senate 50-12 Wednesday to restore the program, but lawmakers scaled back General Assistance Medical Care, which had been slated to disappear April 1. Most voting against the bill were rural lawmakers who said their local hospitals would lose money under it. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- The U.S. House-passed health care bill will bring millions of dollars to Minnesota, helping to balance the state budget. Combined with another congressional bill, yet to pass, most of the expected cuts to Minnesota health and human services programs now will not be needed, Rep. Tom Huntley, DFL-Duluth, said. "Finally, the U.S.
ST. PAUL -- The fight for increasingly scarce state money is getting heated. As lawmakers approved trimming Minnesota spending by $313 million Monday, rural and urban representatives fought over some of the remaining money. "Greater Minnesota gets the short end of everything we do around there," Rep. Rod Hamilton of Mountain Lake said in joining Rep.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Democratic governor race is a bit less crowded today after state Sen. Tom Bakk dropped out. The Cook senator said Saturday he did not think he could get the required 60 percent of the state convention delegates to win the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party's endorsement. He said he will turn his full attention to his job as Senate Tax Committee chairman. "Our campaign had the delegates to be a factor at the convention, but after much reflection I did not think we could reach the 60 percent needed for endorsement," Bakk told St.
ST. PAUL -- Federal authorities are on standby in case local and state workers need help fighting floods, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator says he takes a back seat. "We are in support of the governor and the governor's team," Craig Fugate said Saturday after meeting with Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's Democrats and Republicans are squabbling not only about who has the best plan to balance the state budget, but even who has a plan. House Majority Leader Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm, said to the chamber's top Republican: "I'm wondering if your side has developed a plan to balance the state budget." Minority Leader Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, did not promise a full budget-cutting plan, but said Republicans will continue to offer idea and amendments. However, the North Dakota native added, Democrats do not really have a full budget plan, either.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers Monday will debate budget bills no one likes. Not legislators. Not the governor. Not people who receive state money. The bills cutting state spending are necessary because the state faces a $944 million deficit.
ST. PAUL -- A state board approved a 30-day emergency flood declaration this morning, a day before the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator begins several days looking into area flooding. Gov. Tim Pawlenty already had designated 28 Minnesota counties as flood emergency areas, but that only lasts for five days.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota veterans took aim at legislators and media accounts critical of the governor's office using veterans' funds to pay a staff member, and during a Thursday committee hearing senators apologized to veterans. "I, quite frankly, do not know what all the fuss is about," said Al Holtan of Lake City, commander of the Minnesota Disabled American Veterans group. Then Holtan said that he does realize why the situation became controversial: "We are in the Capitol.