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 -- Minnesota lawmakers appear ready to spend money to help local governments affected by June storms, but during a meeting last Wednesday night many questioned using a September 9 special legislative session to spend anything beyond what is needed to plug holes left by federal funding.
ST. PAUL -- Gun opponents testified Tuesday that they felt uncomfortable earlier this year when they knew gun advocates were packing in the Capitol, but a key opponent admitted he likely will not win a gun ban. Gun proponents far outnumbered opponents in the meeting, called to bring more information to a committee that is supposed to advise legislators and the governor about whether guns would be allowed in the state Capitol complex. The two sides remained far apart philosophically in the Advisory Committee on Capitol Area Security meeting. Gun opponent Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL-St.
ST. PAUL -- Farmers will have to wait to see if legislators will overturn a new tax they pay. Legislative leaders and Gov. Mark Dayton this morning could not agree on doing any more in a special session than approving less than $5 million in disaster relief. Before today's meeting, everyone seemed to think that a new sales tax on farm implement repair should be canceled. However, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said Republicans would not sign an agreement setting up a special session with just one tax overturned. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislative leaders and Governor Mark Dayton talked for days about the need to hold a special session to help communities recover from late-June floods and storms, but Friday night decided to look at ways to provide money short of calling all 201 legislators back to St.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. -- Outside the Minnesota Corn Growers Association Farmfest tent, a sign urged people to go inside and send an e-mail to U.S.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. -- Gov. Mark Dayton says he is willing to overturn a new sales tax on farm implement repair when the Legislature next month meets to appropriate money for disaster relief. Dayton told reporters after he spoke at Farmfest today that he and legislative leaders are looking at a Sept. 9 special session to provide state funding for local governments in 18 counties, including Douglas County, that were affected by late-June storms and flooding.
ST. PAUL -- Some Minnesota businesses are pushing the pause button on constructing new facilities, awaiting word about whether state legislators will allow a new tax to be collected. A $20 million Red Wing Shoes distribution center is on hold "until we find out what happens," John Sachen of the company said last Thursday during a state Capitol news conference. "We have already stopped business," said Representative Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans may receive lower property tax bills next year or local officials may keep those taxes the same. It all depends on who you ask, and neither side knows for sure. Republicans and Democrats continued their fight over taxes Tuesday as Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton announced property taxes are expected to fall 1.5 percent in 2014. "This is reversing a decade-long trend," Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans said. But the projection that taxes will fall $121 million statewide next year is just a best guess, Frans admitted.
ST. PAUL -- Pay attention to the Minnesota state budget: There will be a test. The test comes November 4, 2014, the next general election. That is when voters decide whether to retain Democratic control of the House and governor's office, or to give Republicans another chance.