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 -- Tens of thousands of poor, disabled and elderly Minnesotans could lose state-funded health care under a Republican bill senators approved as part of their efforts to balance the state budget. The bill, which passed 37-26 Wednesday night, cuts $1.8 billion from what had been expected to be spent on health and welfare programs. The House has yet to vote on a similar bill, but Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators will introduce a bill to build a new Vikings football stadium soon. Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, said on Tuesday the bill will surface this week. Lanning has worked on the bill with Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont. It was expected to be introduced early in the year, but the lawmakers needed more time to work out something that could pass. The Moorhead lawmaker would not hint about how the bill would finance a stadium. While Lanning and Rosen were finishing their bill, Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota teachers no longer would keep jobs based on tenure under a Minnesota House plan that also would keep public school funding static. The bill considered late Tuesday night would spend slightly more money on public school students while the state Education Department itself would sustain a major cut. Opponents complained about Republican cuts in Duluth, Minneapolis and St. Paul schools' aid designed to help desegregate schools. In the next two years, the GOP-written House bill would spend about the same $14 billion as in the current budget.
ST. PAUL -- Democratic lawmakers fear a bill the House passed Monday night is the beginning of the end of state aid sent to local governments. With Republicans providing most of the votes, representatives approved the bill 73-59 lowering state aid and also cutting income taxes. Republicans rejected attempts to restore local government aid payments. "I believe this bill will end Local Government Aid as we know it," said Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Senators approved a spending bill Tuesday that keeps money flowing to the courts while making cuts that could slow some crime investigations. The Republican-written measure would spend $1.8 billion in the next two years, $60 million less than current budget and $29 million below a plan from Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. The bill passed 36-28 with Democrats lining up against it. The courts maintain most funding under the bill offered by Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, who leads the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee. But Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Republican senators beat back Democrats' efforts 36-27 to keep an Iron Range economic development fund whole Monday as the Senate approved a jobs bill. The bill removes $45 million from the Douglas J. Johnson fund, used by the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, and uses it to help plug a $5 billion state budget deficit. The overall bill senators passed 36-28 would spend $103 million, down from Gov. Mark Dayton's proposed $166 million.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's agriculture industry takes a $10 million hit in a Senate-passed agriculture funding bill. Senators passed the bill 39-25 Monday, with a few Democrats joining Republicans. The bill would spend $77 million in the next two years. Senate Agriculture Chairman Doug Magnus, R-Slayton, said he thinks the bill could earn Gov. Mark Dayton's support. Magnus and Agriculture Commissioner David Frederickson met Friday afternoon to modify the Senate bill in an attempt to find compromises.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.