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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The mood inside the U.S. House chamber during Tuesday night's State of the Union speech was more subdued than in recent years, but after the president delivered his speech U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann took him head-on. "For two years, President Obama made promises just like the ones we heard him make tonight," the Minnesota congresswoman said. "Yet still we have high unemployment, devalued housing prices and the cost of gasoline is skyrocketing." Even with a new atmosphere that followed the Jan. 8 shooting of U.S. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton ordered two state agencies yesterday to issue permits quicker. Under his order, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources must try to issue permits with 150 days, down from the current informal 180-day guideline. The order is designed to speed up permits businesses need before expanding or building new facilities.
ST. PAUL -- U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann asked Gov. Mark Dayton to rip up an order he signed just after taking office this month joining a federal health-care program, but the Democratic governor Monday rejected the request as presidential politics. The order Dayton signed the first week of January enrolls Minnesota in an expanded Medicaid program (known in Minnesota as Medical Assistance).
ST. PAUL -- Early indications are that Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Laborite governor and Republican legislative leaders are doing as the old saying goes: "disagree without being disagreeable." There have been some strong words from both sides in recent days, but nothing like has been seen in the past few years and those words mainly deal with policy, not personalities.
ST. PAUL -- A dormant state security committee is being reactivated to discuss how the public, state employees and Minnesota officials should be protected in the Capitol complex. Gov. Mark Dayton, top legislators and others made that announcement Tuesday after meeting in the governor's office. "Our principal concern in the meeting was ... how do we protect the public," Dayton told reporters afterwards. Protecting public officials "was almost secondary," Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, said. The meeting was called after the Jan. 8 Arizona shooting of U.S. Rep.