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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Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton diffused a tense situation at his first official function Wednesday by sharing his microphone with shouting protesters crowded into his office. Dozens of people opposed to the state getting more deeply involved in the federal Medicaid program jammed into the governor's reception room alongside legislators, reporters and photographers in a scene Capitol observers say they never have witnessed before.
ST. PAUL -- A research biologist and environmentalist will head the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Gov. Mark Dayton named Tom Landwehr as commissioner of the massive department that does everything from regulating hunting to protecting the environment. Landwehr worked for the DNR in the 1980s and soon became the agency's wildlife manager and later its Wetland Wildlife Program leader. He has been director of the Minnesota and Iowa chapter of Ducks Unlimited and was No.
ST. PAUL -- It was smiles and bigger smiles today as Minnesota's 201 legislators took their oaths of office, hiding the overriding fact of the new legislative session featuring the most drastic change in state leadership in decades as Republicans took control of the House and Senate for the first time in 40 years. That comes a day after Mark Dayton became the first Minnesota Democrat to move into the governor's office in 20 years. As legislators launched their 2011 session at noon today, they welcomed 36 new House members and 24 freshmen senators.
ST. PAUL -- Mark Dayton's first speech as Minnesota governor illustrated the problems he faces. While calling for teamwork to solve the state's problems, the new governor on Monday also insisted that the rich need to pay higher taxes, something Republicans who take control of the state Legislature today strongly oppose. Dayton offered no specifics in his inaugural speech, delivered to a packed Democrat-heavy crowd at St.
ST. PAUL -- Yvonne Prettner Solon is walking into the lieutenant governor's office as a greater Minnesota advocate. The Duluth resident, who gave up a state senator gig to be Mark Dayton's running mate, told about 600 people at St.
ST. PAUL -- Mark Dayton became Minnesota's 40th governor early this afternoon, immediately urging Minnesotans to work together to solve state problems like a massive budget deficit. His 10-minute inaugural speech started with thanking supporters and pledging to work for those who voted for him, and those who did not, but most of it centered on his "working together" theme. "Previous generations of Minnesotans and other Americans faced graver danger, under worse conditions, with fewer resources than we do today," Dayton said. "They summoned their collective knowledge, courage and resolve.
ST. PAUL -- Mark Dayton becomes Minnesota's 40th governor early this afternoon, and the first Democratic governor in two decades faces a $6.2 billion budget deficit and a Legislature controlled by Republicans. The Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul was expected to be packed as Chief Justice Lorie Gildea administers the oath of office to Dayton, who at 63 is the oldest Minnesotan to become governor. Also being sworn in are Lt.
ST. PAUL -- May 23 is the date Minnesotans interested in following the Legislature should remember. That is the last day the state constitution allows lawmakers to meet in regular session.