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 -- No one argued over the need to continue state city aid during a Wednesday meeting of Minnesota mayors and Gov. Mark Dayton, but it will be a different story when Republicans who control the Legislature write their budget. Republicans are expected to release an outline of their budget plan today and it could look like an earlier budget bill they offered that held Local Government Aid at the 2010 level, which is lower than what cities earlier were told to expect. LGA is the largest local aid from the state. Democrat Dayton vetoed that earlier bill.
ST. PAUL -- Senate Republicans say they want to spend $34.3 billion in the next two years, about the same as in the current budget. While big cuts will be needed in some spending areas, it appears local government aids would not sustain cuts as deep as many expected. House Republicans will release their overall budget outline later today, and it is expected to be very similar to the Senate plan. Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton proposes a $37.4 billion budget.
ST. PAUL -- Mayors from across Minnesota, from the biggest to one of the smallest cities, gave Gov. Mark Dayton a unified message today: State aid is vital for their budgets. Dayton did not argue.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's new legislative leaders wasted no time in shooting down an idea from the state's old political guard. Led by former Vice President Walter Mondale, a Democrat, the group of five well-known politicians said on Tuesday that current politicians should not draw new legislative and congressional districts. They suggested turning the duty over to a panel of five retired judges. Those in politics have so much self-interest that they should not do the basic redistricting work required once a decade, the five said. This year, with a big divide between Democrat Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's political old guard says current politicians should not draw new legislative and congressional districts. Those in politics have so much self-interest that they should not do the basic redistricting work required once a decade, five long-time Minnesota political leaders said on Tuesday. This year, with a big divide between Democrat Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Mid-career professionals who want to become teachers now have a way to do that. Gov. Mark Dayton this morning signed a bill into law establishing guidelines for how professional from other fields, especially math and science, can earn their teacher licenses without going through traditional colleges. However, they still would be required to attend classes about how to teach. The bill signing brought together Democrat Dayton and legislative leaders from both parties.
ST. PAUL -- The tweets flew fast and furious Thursday afternoon as Minnesota legislators debated what Republicans said was Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton's tax-increase plan. Democrats accused Republicans of playing games with the budget, and skipping important committee meetings to debate a plan Dayton has yet to formally release. Republicans, on the other hand, took great joy in tweeting that only one Democrat - Sen.
ST. PAUL -- The Republican-controlled Senate voted 63-1 today against Gov. Dayton's proposal to raise taxes on Minnesota's richest residents, but Dayton and other Democrats called the debate meaningless theater. "I'm glad people are having fun," Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said sarcastically. "I hope some of your relatives are watching." Only Sen.
ST. PAUL -- A bill written to speed up the issuance of environmental permits speeded through the Minnesota Senate Thursday on a 49-16 vote. Since it differs slightly from a similar bill the House already passed, it now heads to negotiators to work out differences. Democrats complained about a provision in Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen's bill because it allows a company that requests a permit to hire a private firm to write an environmental impact statement. "The fox in charge of the chicken coop" is how Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Good news to the tune of $1.2 billion changed little about Minnesota's budget debate. There was little evidence after Monday's news that a projected budget deficit has dropped from $6.2 billion to $5 billion smoothed differences between Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton and Republicans who control the Legislature. "It is still a matter of serious concern," Dayton said. Democrats and Republicans could not even agree on who was responsible for the better budget news. House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, thanked employers and employees for paying more taxes to the state.