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
- 3 years 10 months
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota public employees would pay more toward their pensions in a bill unions say is like one in Wisconsin that drew national attention. Sens. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas, and Mike Parry, R-Waseca, introduced their bill Monday as a way to help plug a $5 billion state budget deficit by reducing state expenses. "This will help the funds stay viable," Hoffman said.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota income taxes would fall $300 million in the next two years under a House Republican plan, while state payments to local governments drop significantly. The proposal, to receive a House Tax Committee vote late this week, eliminates Local Government Aid for Duluth, Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as Twin Cities suburbs, by 2015.
ST. PAUL -- Whether Minnesota retailers should sell alcohol on Sundays will be debated by a Senate committee Wednesday, perhaps the first time that has happened. Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth, promotes the idea after seeing Minnesotans drive over bridges to buy booze in Superior, Wis.
ST. PAUL -- Larry Shellito of Alexandria became the first Gov. Mark Dayton commissioner to be confirmed as the Senate Thursday voted for him to continue as leader of the state Veterans' Affairs Department. "I can think of no better leader to serve Minnesota veterans than the one who led them in many of the challenges of the last several years," Sen. Ted Daley, R-Eagan, said before the unanimous Senate voice vote. Shellito, 65, was state adjutant general seven years, in charge of the National Guard, before retiring last year.
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.