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
- 3 years 10 months
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.
The U.S. House this afternoon defeated 234-195 a farm bill that would have funded agriculture and nutrition programs for the next five years. The defeat came after House Speaker House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., had agreed to support the bill regardless of the outcome of a dairy program amendment. The dairy proposal, which was amended in Boehner's favor, was one of the most controversial of the bill. A majority of Republicans supported the bill, while 62 voted against it, and most Democrats opposed it.
ST. PAUL -- Eight is enough. That is the message Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann delivered early today when she announced she will leave the U.S. House after eight years. In a video message, she gave no hint about her future, but said she could have won re-election if she wanted to run. The 57-year-old congresswoman who serves the area north and northwest of the Twin Cities surprised the Minnesota political community by posting a video announcing her decision.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed two provisions of a bill funding outdoors and arts projects, saying a House committee ignored a citizen advisory panel. The vetoes eliminated $3 million to fight aquatic invasive species that was destined for tribal and local governments and $6.3 million to improve Twin Cities parks. "This decision is extremely difficult for me," Dayton wrote to legislative leaders, because he supports the causes but had said he would veto projects the advisory committee did not recommend. Dayton blamed a House panel led by Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Paint will cost more and be recycled. Bees will be protected. Financially troubled farmers will be able to access state aid. And an island to provide more wildlife habitat could be built in the Mississippi River. Those are a few of the impacts from a diverse environment, natural resources and agriculture funding bill headed for Governr Mark Dayton's expected approval. The overall bill spends $312 million on programs such as in the Agriculture Department, Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources.