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
- 3 years 8 months
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Gov.
ST. PAUL -- The smiles seen on Jan. 4, opening day of the 2011 legislative session, became frowns by Monday as Minnesota's 201 lawmakers headed home with no idea when they will wrap up their primary job: writing a two-year budget. Republicans who run the Legislature said they did their part before the Monday night constitutional adjournment date. They passed 10 budget and tax bills to fund state government with $34 billion for the two years beginning July 1. However, Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- A bill written to raise awareness of a rare disease that killed a southwest Minnesota boy is headed to the governor. On the last day of the Legislature's regular session, the Minnesota House voted 129-1 Monday in favor of creating Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week in the third full week of September each year. The Senate already passed the bill. "This can affect anybody at any time," Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, said before the House vote. Hamilton brought the bill up after the death of 1-year-old Leo, son of Andrew Nesseth and Lindsay Chapman of Jackson County.
ST. PAUL -- All but the most naive know this really is not the final day the Minnesota Legislature meets this year. The state Constitution says today is the end, but Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republicans who run the Legislature are no closer to agreement today than they were when the Legislature convened on Jan. 4. Already, the discussion has turned to a special legislative session and a possible government shutdown.
ST. PAUL -- An 18-month campaign about gay marriage began moments after the Minnesota House approved a constitutional amendment on the issue late Saturday. And if the five-hour House debate is any indication, Minnesotans are in for 18 months of emotional and hard-fought campaigning. The campaign is expected to bring in millions of dollars for both sides. An hour after the House voted 70-62 to ask voters to decide whether marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman, those opposed to the amendment launched their campaign, Minnesotans United for All Families. Bill sponsor Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Two colorful quotes demonstrate the tough state of the Minnesota Legislature. "Anyway, back to King Tut," Sen. Sandra Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, told fellow senators as she returned to a lengthy discussion of all things Tut and dinosaur, saying the Science Museum of Minnesota would be hurt by a bill cutting state programs. House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, showed the mood of chief policymakers when he described Gov.
ST. PAUL -- The two sides in Minnesota's budget conflict agree on one thing: They are in no mood to negotiate away issues they hold dear in the remaining seven days of the 2011 legislative session. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's budget negotiators said they will rely on their good relationships to conclude a contentious budget deal that plugs a $5 billion deficit. However, in separate Thursday interviews with the governor and House speaker, as well as a news conference with Senate leaders, no progress was apparent with 11 days remaining before the state Constitution requires legislators to quit work for the year. In fact, there were signs Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Republican senators do not want their state to become another Iowa. Two years ago, Supreme Court justices in the state to the south unanimously overturned a law defining marriage as between one man and one woman, much like a law on Minnesota books. Minnesota Republicans took a step toward avoiding an Iowa situation Wednesday by approving 38-27 a proposed state constitutional amendment to not allow gays to marry. A similar bill awaits a House vote. "I have a growing discomfort with a small number of politicians in St. Paul deciding this," Sen.
ST. PAUL -- One of the most significant, and least noticed, jobs of the Minnesota Legislature is drawing up new legislative district lines, and it drew sparks Tuesday night. After about 30 Minnesotans told the House Redistricting Committee their thoughts of a House Republican proposal, Democrats complained that the 24 hours since the plan was released was too little time to consider it. "You had no intent in producing a bipartisan plan," Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, told committee Chairwoman Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth.