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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ST. PAUL -- So-called assault weapons are nothing more than fancy hunting rifles, gun supporters told a Minnesota House committee Wednesday. A federal ban on the guns that expired in 2004 did not work, Chris Rager of the National Rifle Association told the House public safety committee.
ST. PAUL -- As many as 192,000 Minnesotans would benefit if state legislators quickly pass a bill matching state tax law with federal law, the state House Taxes Committee chairwoman says. If that does not happen, Rep. Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington, told fellow lawmakers Monday: "You can imagine that you will have a lot of constituents that will not be happy." The issue, known as "tax conformity," arose after Congress and the president agreed on tax law changes late in December.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton's budget proposal continues to play out in interesting ways, usually with Republicans strongly opposed and Democrats more mildly in support. Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, told a top Dayton official that the budget, especially the tax increase portions, "makes it more difficult to compete" with states nearby where governors are trying to lower taxes. "This budget looks to many of us like a good deal for government," Dean said, but not for business or the average Minnesotan. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Some Minnesota legislators want to raise the tax on "little cigars," saying the products cost less than cigarettes and they can be flavored as a way to attract children. Senators Kari Dziedzic, DFL-Minneapolis, and Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, said little cigars basically are the same as cigarettes, but taxed differently under state law.
ST. PAUL -- Some Minnesota legislators want to raise the tax on "little cigars," saying the products cost less than cigarettes and they can be flavored as a way to attract children. Sens. Kari Dziedzic, DFL-Minneapolis, and Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, said little cigars basically are the same as cigarettes, but taxed differently under state law.
ST. PAUL -- Genny Hinnenkamp travels the Duluth area, picking up proceeds from pulltab games, with profits destined for the charity she represents and the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. At the same time she dreams about getting more money as electronic pulltab games spread and statewide electronic bingo is added.
Three options appear viable to help stop the advance of Asian carp into Minnesota, but after years of talk, disputes remain about how to best halt the invasion. Legislators on the House environment committee Tuesday night criticized the Department of Natural Resource's preferred barrier, a combination of light, sound and bubbles that one lawmaker called disco (because of the light and sound) and one called the Lawrence Welk method (due to the sound and bubbles). Many legislators support an electric barrier, which they thought the DNR was pursuing. A third suggestion emerged, making a Minne
ST. PAUL -- Governor Mark Dayton says taxes on average Minnesotans would not increase under the budget proposal he released at mid-day. The plan includes a mixture of tax increases and decreases and it would spend more on education and jobs programs.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans would pay taxes on clothing worth more than $100, rich Minnesotans' income tax would increase and property taxes would fall under a proposal released by Gov. Mark Dayton at mid-day. The Democratic governor proposes tax increases more than $2 billion, to be used to pave over a $1.1 billion budget deficit and increase spending for education and jobs programs. Key to the Dayton budget is increasing taxes on the top 2 percent of Minnesota earners. For instance, that would up taxes on 883 people in St.
ST. PAUL -- Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura was the king of deadpanning, a trait that got him in trouble more than once. He often would deliver lines, giving no indication he was joking. After some comments were taken wrong, he learned to end non-serious comments with his deep-throated: "Joke, joke, joke." In this world of social media, current Gov. Mark Dayton may have learned about the need to make sure jokes are taken the right way. Writing on Facebook, Dayton said he was improving from last month's back surgery, and planned to deliver his Tuesday budget proposal as planned.