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.
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Education funding, the largest single part of the Minnesota budget, would rise $550 million in the next two years under a House Democratic plan being debated this afternoon and tonight. Early-childhood education, including funding all-day kindergarten statewide, is the foundation of the $15.7 billion, two-year plan. "We are going to get every single child to the starting line on time," said Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Communities across Minnesota should pressure lawmakers to support a public works funding bill, its House sponsor says. "I think those local communities absolutely have a vested interest in this bill," Representative Alice Hausman, DFL-St.
The sponsor of the Minnesota House public works funding bill says it would help Minnesota continue its recovery from recession. Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, today unveiled House Democrats' bill to fund construction projects such as those dealing with state-run colleges and universities, transportation, housing, economic development, sewer systems, flood prevention and the Capitol building. "As Minnesota's economy continues to recover, this bill will go a long way to helping put people to work while improving and preserving our critical statewide infrastructure repairs," Hausman said.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans will be able to shop for health insurance through a state marketplace beginning October 1, but may not see savings for a couple of years. Minutes after Governor Mark Dayton Wednesday signed a bill into law establishing the marketplace, to be known as MNsure, he said that it eventually will save Minnesotans money, but not until 2015 or later. Many cost savings will come from a shift in how Minnesotans get health care, the governor said.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota senators approved 39-28 a health insurance marketplace along party lines Monday, leaving only Governor Mark Dayton's signature as the final step. Dayton is expected to sign the measure that would give Minnesotans a mostly web-based place to buy health insurance, as required by federal law.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton scaled back his tax requests today after hearing from the public, businesses and legislators that they were not keen on expanding the sales tax to most goods and services. "This does not allow us to do as many things as we could in a broader reform, but that is the way it is," he said in announcing changes from his initial Jan. 22 budget proposal. The governor still wants to raise taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans more than $1 billion and increase public school and higher education spending almost that much.
ST. PAUL -- Republicans call gay marriage a distraction from important duties legislators face, such as passing a state budget. On Thursday, Republican legislators packed a stage during a rally supporting traditional marriage between a man and a woman. About 1,000 people jammed the Minnesota Capitol, holding signs with slogans such as "marriage should be reinforced, not redefined." President Brian Brown of the National Organization of Marriage energized the crowd in the rally's keynote address. "Children deserve the chance to have both a mother and a father," Brown said.