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 12 months
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. -- Gov. Mark Dayton says he is willing to overturn a new sales tax on farm implement repair when the Legislature next month meets to appropriate money for disaster relief. Dayton told reporters after he spoke at Farmfest today that he and legislative leaders are looking at a Sept. 9 special session to provide state funding for local governments in 18 counties, including Douglas County, that were affected by late-June storms and flooding.
ST. PAUL -- Some Minnesota businesses are pushing the pause button on constructing new facilities, awaiting word about whether state legislators will allow a new tax to be collected. A $20 million Red Wing Shoes distribution center is on hold "until we find out what happens," John Sachen of the company said last Thursday during a state Capitol news conference. "We have already stopped business," said Representative Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans may receive lower property tax bills next year or local officials may keep those taxes the same. It all depends on who you ask, and neither side knows for sure. Republicans and Democrats continued their fight over taxes Tuesday as Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton announced property taxes are expected to fall 1.5 percent in 2014. "This is reversing a decade-long trend," Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans said. But the projection that taxes will fall $121 million statewide next year is just a best guess, Frans admitted.
ST. PAUL -- Pay attention to the Minnesota state budget: There will be a test. The test comes November 4, 2014, the next general election. That is when voters decide whether to retain Democratic control of the House and governor's office, or to give Republicans another chance.
ST. PAUL -- Governor Mark Dayton wants the federal government to help Minnesota pay for nearly $18 million in public facility damages from last month's storms. He sent President Barack Obama a letter Wednesday seeking a major federal disaster declaration for 18 counties, including Douglas County, that experienced flooding and storm damage June 20-26.
ST. PAUL -- Governor Mark Dayton wants the federal government to help Minnesota pay for nearly $18 million in public facility damages from last month's storms. He sent President Barack Obama a letter Wednesday seeking a major federal disaster declaration for the 18 counties, including Douglas County, that experienced flooding and storm damage June 20-26.
The future of federal farm programs is uncertain, at best, after a sharply divided House last Thursday passed a stripped-down farm bill on its second try. The 216-208 vote mostly was along party lines, a rarity for farm bills, with all but 12 Republicans voting for it and all Democrats opposed after the GOP-controlled House removed funding for food stamps and other programs to feed the country's poor. Farm groups worried that House-Senate negotiations, known as a conference, will not be able to work out a compromise without the food stamp portion of the bill. "We are concerned that without
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota officials want the federal government to help fund recovery efforts from the June 20-26 floods and storms in many parts of the state. Director Kris Eide of Homeland Security and Emergency Management on Tuesday asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assess damage next week.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Democrats wasted no time to begin cheering the U.S. Supreme Court's decision this morning to reject a federal gay-marriage ban. The ruling follows Minnesota's decision this spring to allow same-sex couples to wed. The federal ruling means those who do marry will receive federal benefits denied to gay couples in states that allow them to marry. "Great year for marriage equality in DC and MN, but there is still work to be done at the federal level," U.S. Rep.
U.S. House agriculture leaders will try, try again to pass a five-year farm bill. "It's been four years and we are not going to give up now," U.S.