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 5 months
ST. PAUL -- The assistant St. Paul police chief says authorities may have found an 18-year-old Eveleth man's body quicker last year if they had tracked his mobile telephone. A bill making its way through the Minnesota Legislature was written to make the job easier by requiring mobile telephone companies to tell law enforcement officers the whereabouts of missing people's mobile phones. Last April 5, Dan Zamlen went missing in St. Paul. More than 1,000 fellow Iron Rangers searched for him along the Mississippi River, but his body was not found until nearly a month later.
ST. PAUL -- No state health care program escaped Gov. Tim Pawlenty's budget axe this week. "It affects almost literally every program that we touch," Human Services Commissioner Cal Ludeman Wednesday told the House health-care finance committee. That is not acceptable to most Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party legislators. "What we are doing here is simply allowing a lot of need to go unmet," Rep. Erin Murphy, DFL-St.
ST. PAUL - The Minnesota House kicked its public works funding proposal to more than $1 billion Monday, adding a facility for 400 sex offenders. Representatives voted 92-37, with some Republicans joining Democrats, to fund college, trails, transportation and other construction projects.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's cities, counties and poor people needing health care would be most affected by Gov. Tim Pawlenty's plan to balance the state budget. Pawlenty Monday announced that he recommends cutting: - $347 million from health-care programs, affecting 40,000 people. Half would lose MinnesotaCare insurance coverage, half would lose or experience cuts in other programs. - $387 million from other health-care funding.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty delivered equal amounts of patriotism and conservatism Thursday in his final State of the State speech. The Republican governor and potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate began his 33-minute speech praising the Minnesota National Guard, and spent much of his time in the packed House chamber promoting tax cuts and other proposals that he said would help business hire more workers. Reception to his speech was divided along partisan lines more than his previous seven.
ST. PAUL -- City leaders are working on a proposal to fund continued local government aid. Since 2003, cities have complained that Gov. Tim Pawlenty and legislators cut state payments to them when the state budget needed to be balanced. Next week, the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities will draw up a way to raise revenue to keep money flowing to cities. Cloquet Mayor Bruce Ahlgren said among the ideas being floated is extending the sales tax to services such as hair cuts and tattoos.
ST. PAUL -- Bills to restrict a governor's ability to unilaterally cut budgets are being introduced in the Minnesota Legislature, and the state Supreme Court says it will accept cities' input when it considers the issue this spring. To balance the budget, Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty wants to double some sex offender sentences, the latest in a series of related moves over the years. Under the plan the Republican governor announced Tuesday, a first-degree sex offender would receive a sentence of at least 25 years, compared to 12 years now. Pawlenty's plan received mixed reaction from key Democratic lawmakers. Sen. Mary Olson of Bemidji, vice chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said she likes extending prison sentences.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans have a new chance to tell legislators how they would like to see government operate. "How can we provide better services and better results at a better price?" Rep. Paul Marquart said is the question being asked of the public. Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, announced Monday the formation of a state government redesign caucus, with both Democrats and Republicans involved. "This is a start," Marquart said. He had no blueprint of how a newly designed government would look or how much money it could save.