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
- 4 years 5 months
ST. PAUL -- Two-hundred Minnesota National Guard soldiers will join the Moorhead-area flood fight today, Thursday. Col. Dirk Kloss of the Guard said the soldiers will help patrol dikes and provide "a quick reaction force" to conduct dike repairs. Activating the soldiers came shortly after Gov. Mark Dayton Wednesday signed an executive order declaring flood emergencies in 46 counties and two American Indian communities.
ST. PAUL -- Streams are rising across Minnesota, so Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Senate Democrats tried to turn a tax bill debate into a rich-vs.-poor debate, saying a Republican-written bill was crafted to help businesses and the rich. Senate Republicans defeated all major changes to their tax bill Tuesday, passing the bill 37-26 after eight hours of debate over two days. The bill would phase out a statewide business property tax, encourage local governments to work together, maintain local aids at 2010 levels and keep state income and sales taxes static.
ST. PAUL -- The Dayton administration and Minnesota's major health-care plans agreed today that profits from state managed-care contracts will be capped at 1 percent of revenue this year. "I applaud UCare, HealthPartners, Medica, and BlueCross BlueShield for their civic responsibility in recognizing the state's dire financial condition, and helping to reduce our rising health care costs," Gov. Mark Dayton said.
ST. PAUL -- If Minnesota were an airplane, it would crash because it is overweight, the Senate tax chairwoman said as debate began on a measure making major changes to the state tax system. "It appears we have too much weight and not enough fuel to get to our next destination..." Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, said.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton puts the need for Minnesota to fund public works projects up there with flood fighting. The reason public works projects, funded by the state selling bonds, are so important is because they could put thousands of people to work, the Democratic governor said. "They are in emergency conditions," he said of the jobless. In recent days, Dayton has renewed his push to invest $1 billion in public works projects ranging from new trails to fixing university roofs.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Senate wants to divert some education funding to help children read by third grade, but critics do not like how the plan takes money from other needs. Sen. Claire Robling, R-Jordan, said that the education budget bill's aim is to "put a laser focus on reading." Overall, the bill would spend about $14 billion in the next two years, the largest chunk of the $34 billion state budget. The state's general education payments would rise $50 per student each of the next two years under the Republican bill, adding $133 million to school districts.
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.