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
- 5 years 3 months
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators have taken baby steps in passing a $38 billion, two-year budget that must be finished by midnight Monday. The biggest step so far was set to come late Friday or early today as the House edged toward approving money for state-subsidized health programs, the second-largest part of the state budget. "I think we have time to get the budget bills done," House Majority Leader Erin Murphy, DFL-St.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House defeated a public works funding bill this afternoon, but even with a Monday adjournment deadline looming it still could come back up. Bill author Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, said today's vote would be the only chance representatives would have to pass her $800 million bill, to be funded by the state selling bonds.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House, Senate and governor's office agreed to a tax plan Thursday night, four months after the Legislature started and four days before lawmakers must wrap up work for the year. The tax plan is a merger of what the Democratic-controlled House and Senate and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton wanted.
ST. PAUL -- Rural and urban Minnesota senators battled Wednesday night about how to divide outdoors and arts program funding. Rural senators won, but just barely. Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, said rural Minnesota is "under assault once again" with an amendment by Sen.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House is to consider helping southwestern Minnesota obtain federal funds to recover from an April ice storm. The House Ways and Means Committee Tuesday night approved on a voice vote spending $1.5 million, which would leverage federal funds to help pay for $6 million in public costs. Rep. Joe Schomacker, R-Luverne, told the committee that total private and public damage from the storm was $26 million. He said much of the public damage was caused by power lines and trees falling onto roads. The storm occurred April 9 to 11.
The law Minnesota law has restricted marriage to between men and women, but a bill the governor signed Tuesday evening allows "civil marriages" between any two people other than close family members. The law says that clergy and religion-related organizations are not required to participate in a gay marriage.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's gay community never has known such joy. That joy showed Tuesday night as American and rainbow flags flew in front of the state Capitol when Minnesota became the 12th state to embrace same-sex marriage. Minnesota gays and their supporters could not contain their enthusiasm during a 45-minute ceremony featuring Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Love and marriage soon will go together for Minnesota gays like they do for straight couples. "Vote yes for love," Minnesota Sen. Scott Dibble told his colleagues Monday. Enough senators agreed and gave the Minneapolis Democrat his wish of a Minnesota that allows same-sex couples to marry, the 12th state to allow it. "Today we have the power, the awesome humbling power, to make dreams come true." Dibble said as a four-hour, three-minute debate wound down. Senators voted 37-30 to remove a state law that bans same-sex marriage.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota political leaders have spent months preparing state budget plans, and eight days before the Legislature must adjourn for the year they announced they have reached agreement on some tax and spend guidelines. Included in the budget framework is that the state would not raise sales taxes on consumer goods, such as clothing, but probably would add taxes businesses pay on sales to other businesses.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota is a Senate vote and a governor's signature away from becoming the 12th state to allow gay marriage. Same-sex marriage supporters are optimistic because the House was regarded as the biggest hurdle. After the bill passed the House surprisingly easily 75-59, they were euphoric. The Senate is due to take up the bill Monday and Democratic Gov.