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
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Minnesotans must loudly demand that lawmakers approve Sunday alcohol sales if the proposal has a chance to pass, its Senate sponsor says. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans either will get a better deal on health insurance or they will face problems if the Legislature and governor agree on a new way for 1.3 million Minnesotans to buy health insurance. That is how the debate boils down about a bill the Democrat-controlled House Monday night approved 72-58 over Republican protests.
ST. PAUL -- Legislative leaders say the governor has a good chance of getting $30 million he wants included in the next two-year budget to help businesses move to Minnesota or expand. The Minnesota Investment Fund provided more than 600 loans, some of which do not need to be repaid, since 1985. Rural businesses received $85 million while those in the Twin Cities were given $24 million. "It's a major priority," said Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Adding money to early childhood education and all-day kindergarten programs, as Governor Mark Dayton suggests, is important to Minnesota's future, the state House education finance leader says. "Those two programs really pay dividends into the future," Representative Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, said before he presented the Dayton budget proposal to his committee. Dayton's $15.5 billion two-year education budget proposal would be about $1 billion more than for two years ending June 30.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans fighting Asian carp think they may have temporary and permanent ways to slow the advance of the voracious eater. Organizations at a Wednesday Asian carp summit hosted by Governor Mark Dayton and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar agreed they would try to convince boaters to stop using a Mississippi River lock in Minneapolis so it can remain closed and act as a barrier to fish that can eat so much food that they push out native species.
ST. PAUL -- One of the big days of the Minnesota legislative session arrives Thursday, when state fiscal leaders announce how state revenues and spending are doing. The budget forecast, released twice a year, tells legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton how much the state has to spend or, most often in recent years, how big a deficit they face. The November forecast showed a $1.1 billion deficit. Dayton released his budget on Jan.
ST. PAUL -- Adding money to early childhood education and all-day kindergarten programs, as Gov. Mark Dayton suggests, is important to Minnesota's future, the state House education finance leader says. "Those two programs really pay dividends into the future," Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, said Tuesday before he presented the Dayton budget proposal to his committee. Dayton's $15.5 billion two-year education budget proposal would be about $1 billion more than for two years ending June 30.
ST. PAUL -- More than 35,000 low-income Minnesotans would gain health-care coverage under a bill the House approved Monday. Representative Tom Huntley, DFL-Duluth, said the federal government would pick up most of the cost under a new health-care law. "The net savings to the state budget are $129 million in the first biennium and $237 million in the second biennium," Huntley said. Minnesota doctors, hospitals and other health-care providers would get $1.8 billion more in the next two years and $2.5 billion in the following two years if the bill passes, Huntley said.
ST. PAUL -- Gun week in the Minnesota Legislature came and went, but the debate is far from over. A former law enforcement officer, now a senator, pledges to continue the fight against weakening gun freedoms. "As a former sheriff and current state senator, I was sworn to uphold the Constitution of the state of Minnesota and the United States," Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, wrote in a letter to the editor. "I take this oath seriously.
ST. PAUL -- Income tax returns Minnesotans file this spring will conform to new federal laws if state senators follow the House's Monday action. The House voted 127-0 to change state law to match newly enacted federal tax legislation, saving taxes for 55,000 teachers, 90,000 homeowners, 60,000 students and 32,000 small business owners. Supporters say it will save Minnesotans $18.5 million. The new federal law established deductions that are not allowed under Minnesota law.