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
- 4 years 11 months
ST. PAUL—An overtime Minnesota legislative session provided an opening to protest the state budget as legislative leaders worked out plans to finish on Thursday. Hundreds gathered at the state Capitol Wednesday, May 24, delivering chants like "veto everything" because they do not like spending bills mostly written by Republicans. In many cases, the complaints were that the legislation would not spend enough money. Protesters came from a wide-ranging coalition including teachers, religious leaders, immigration supporters, local government control advocates and others.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota legislators missed their second deadline in two days Wednesday morning, May 24, leaving much of the state's $46 billion, two-year budget undone. And House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, mentioned the possibility that the special legislative session that was to end at 7 a.m. Wednesday could extend for days. Frustrated and tired legislators began shouting and had trouble communicating through the night.
ST. PAUL—The 2017 Legislature may do pretty well by greater Minnesota. "We got there because it was a bipartisan effort. both parties brought real strengths to the table," Deputy House Minority Leader Paul Marquart, D-Dilworth, said hours before a special session was to adjourn Wednesday morning. "I use the tax bill as an example."
ST. PAUL—Minnesota legislative leaders and the governor resumed budget talks Friday, May 19, but leaders were tight-lipped about their first closed-door meeting in two days. Upon entering Gov. Mark Dayton's office at 8:15 a.m., Republican leaders refused to say if they carried him a new offer. When they left less than 10 minutes later, they said they would return in about an hour.
ST. PAUL — This is not good news for Jeff Johnson, or anyone else who has lost a governor's race and wants a second chance. "Only a handful of the more than five-dozen losing candidates for the office since statehood have been victorious on a subsequent attempt," politics trivia expert Eric Ostermeier of the University of Minnesota reported. His review of campaign history comes after Hennepin County Commissioner Johnson announced he will try a second time for the governor's office. He lost to Mark Dayton in 2014.
ST. PAUL — A rookie Minnesota senator may have said it best in social media. "With less than a week left of legislative session, here's a list of what we still need to finish: 1. Everything." That Tuesday, May 16, summary of the Legislature by Sen. Matt Little, D-Lakeville, said it all, other than progress was being made at the highest levels.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's aide who so angered farm-area legislators that they said the governor had declared war on agriculture now says he made mistakes. Deputy Chief of Staff Linden Zakula sent an email to the media Monday night, May 15, clarifying two mistakes he made in a May 9 memorandum when he was attacking the Republican-written agriculture finance bill, which Dayton later vetoed.
PAUL — Work on the Minnesota state budget slowed Wednesday, May 10, to allow a senator to be with her dying father. House members pressed ahead, passing a tax-cut bill and another funding transportation. Budget negotiations between the Republican-controlled Legislature and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton stopped after the GOP began pushing their budget bills to full House and Senate votes Tuesday.
ST. PAUL — Voters around greater Minnesota can expect to see a lot of Jeff Johnson. The 50-year-old Hennepin County commissioner and Detroit Lakes native launched his second Republican bid for governor Wednesday, May 10, saying that the area outside the Twin Cities is critical.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota legislation to battle female genital mutilation now includes penalties requiring up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $30,000. A bill offered by Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, on Monday, May 8, was amended to spell out higher penalties for the crime, starting at five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The measure also would make parents liable for charges. The bill, which passed on a voice vote out of a House public safety committee, "makes penalties graduated based on level of harm," Rep. Debra Hilstrom, D-Brooklyn Center, said.