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 — Ethics discussions moved beyond the troubled U.S. Bank Stadium governing authority after its two top officials resigned. While allowing family and friends into U.S. Bank Stadium free has been center of a controversy, the Thursday, Feb. 16, resignation of the facility's chairwoman and executive director spurred discussion about other venues, too. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Rep. Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth, said they would like to expand the freebie ban to other public facilities.
ST. PAUL—They were words a Muslim American certainly did not want to hear: "We deported your wife and kids." A few hours later, the message changed: "The kids are fine. ... But mom will be sent back." Still more hours later, the final message became good news: "Congratulations! Your wife and kids will be released."
BLOOMINGTON, Minn.—Be honest. Know what you want to say. Talk to reporters. With that, Patty and Jerry Wetterling laid out their secret to dealing with the media in the 27 years between when their son, Jacob, disappeared and his remains were found last fall in one of the country's must publicized child disappearances. The couple credited the media, especially newspapers, with helping solve their son's case.
ST. PAUL — Gov. Mark Dayton wants to raise Minnesota's next two-year budget nearly 10 percent. "We must wisely invest and use our resources," his finance commissioner, Myron Frans, told reporters Tuesday, Jan. 24, in announcing hopes to increase spending for transportation, education, local governments and other budget areas. The Dayton plan would spend almost $46 billion in the two years beginning July 1. "Minnesota is doing better, much better than it was before," Dayton said. "But too many Minnesotans are still being left behind. We can and must do better."
ST. PAUL — When Gov. Mark Dayton collapsed during his State of the State speech on Jan. 23, Rep. Jeff Backer was among the first to act. Backer, R-Browns Valley, whose district includes the western part of Douglas County, is an emergency medical technician of more than 20 years, "This was not my first rodeo," Backer said. "When he stopped and took a drink, I got up right away, and ran around the side of the aisle." In his sprint to the front of the chamber, he called for Rep. Jim Newberger, R-Becker, a paramedic.
ST. PAUL—Minnesotans who buy individual health insurance policies have until Tuesday, Jan. 31, to enroll for coverage this year, unless federal officials allow more time. The governor and a key health-care senator have asked the Trump administration to give Minnesotans more time. The Obama administration rejected a similar ask by fellow Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton. But state officials hope the new Republican administration will be more willing to consider it.
ST. PAUL — Raising Minnesota's next two-year budget nearly 10 percent is Gov. Mark Dayton's ask. "We must wisely invest and use our resources," his finance commissioner, Myron Frans, told reporters on Tuesday, Jan. 24, in announcing hopes to increase spending for transportation, education, local governments and other budget areas. The Dayton plan would spend almost $46 billion in the two years beginning July 1. That 9.6 percent boost is too much for Republicans, but GOP leaders said they have not had time to dissect the Dayton proposal.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has prostate cancer, he said at mid-day Tuesday, Jan. 24, before heading to a Mayo Clinic appointment after fainting during his State of the State speech Monday night. Dayton stunned reporters with the cancer announcement after unveiling his budget proposal for the next two years. He said that he does not think the cancer and fainting spell are related.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton collapsed during his State of the State speech Monday night, Jan. 23, but after a few minutes walked away with help. An hour later, he was playing a puzzle with his grandson at his official state residence. "He quickly recovered, walked out of the Capitol, and returned home," his chief of staff, Jaime Tincher, said an hour and a half after the incident. "EMTs joined the governor there, and performed a routine check. He is now spending time with his son and grandson."
ST. PAUL—Rural Minnesota may never have been mentioned so often in a state Senate debate not about a specific rural issue. Small towns and farmers were featured Thursday, Jan. 12, before senators passed 35-31 legislation to help Minnesotans afford individual health insurance policies. Rural residents like farmers tend to rely on individual policies more than do those living in cities.