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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ST. PAUL -- Minnesota state representatives voted Friday to protect children from some toxic chemicals. They approved on a 113-13 vote a measure to ban companies from intentionally putting formaldehyde in child care products. They backed a second bill 115-11 to keep bisphenol A out of baby and toddler food containers in the state. Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, offered the formaldehyde bill because the substance is toxic and can cause cancer. "A 1-ounce dose will kill a human being," Persell said. The bill deals with items such as skin care products. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota state representatives approved 70-64 a health-care spending bill late Monday without knowing how it would affect hospitals around the state. Most Democrats favored the bill while most Republicans opposed it. Highlighting debate was an amendment by Representative Will Morgan, DFL-Burnsville, that the Democrat-controlled House put on the overall bill to change how funding would be distributed to hospitals. Time after time when Republican lawmakers asked Morgan how his amendment would affect hospitals.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota senators opted to spend $383 million on economic development opportunities, with an emphasis on creating jobs. Money would be spent on programs ranging from those designed to create jobs to attracting movie producers to improving worker training. On Friday, senators voted 38-25 to boost spending to provide "the tools to actually create jobs," Senator David Tomassoni, DFL-Chisholm, said, predicting thousands would find employment and would get better employment.
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.