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 9 months
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.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans filling and stacking sandbags are backed by a nearly invisible around-the-clock state operation coordinating everything from providing manpower to finding people to rescue horses. The state Emergency Operations Center opens at 8:30 a.m. today with up to 100 people synchronizing a flood fight involving all 23 state Cabinet agencies, a myriad of smaller departments, federal officials and volunteer organizations such as the Red Cross.
ST. PAUL -- In the simplest terms, Minnesota's seven Supreme Court justices are deciding if the Legislature has full control of state spending, or if the governor has a role once a budget is approved. The decision could affect not only the current state budget, but also could impact the power future governors wield. Specifically, the high court's task is deciding if Gov. Tim Pawlenty acted legally last summer when he cut $5.3 million out of a state-funded dietary program.
ST. PAUL -- Fifty-two public works projects across Minnesota such as college building renovations and state trails fell victim to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto pen Monday, and legislative leaders say there is little chance lawmakers will send any more projects to him before he leaves office early next year. "He basically massacred the bill," Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Members of the Minnesota House agriculture finance committee looked through their budget for any place to cut. For instance, they decided to reduce what the state pays to the Minnesota Livestock Breeder Association by $1,000, practically nothing compared to the state's $31 billion, two-year budget. But as state lawmakers struggle to plug a nearly $1 billion gap, they are looking everywhere. The committee, which also deals with veterans' issues, has one of the smallest budgets of any area, $208 million. Gov.