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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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.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.-elect Mark Dayton and newly minted Republican Minnesota legislative leaders promise to work with each other when the 2011 legislative session begins at noon Tuesday. But neither Dayton nor Republicans who control the Legislature can lay out a map for how they will bridge their biggest gulf: a $6.2 billion budget deficit. Both sides agree that things have not run smoothly the past few years between Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Democrats controlling the state Legislature.
ST. PAUL -- Mark Dayton will take the oath of office at noon Monday, Jan. 3, in St. Paul's Landmark Center. He will be joined by other statewide elected officials in the same place that Tim Pawlenty became governor in 2003. Dayton picked the theme "Going to Work for Minnesota" as his theme, which sounds a lot like what he and other Minnesota political candidates said during the recently completed campaign. The Democrat plans to cap next week with a Saturday night, Jan. 8, "People's Inaugural Ball" inaugural dance at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Jesse Ventura's finance commissioner once famously announced that the state had "a boatload of money." The big debate then was who got the most new money. Since then, state finance officials have looked under every financial cushion for all the spare change they could find, changing the debate to who would lose money. In city leaders' opinions, those funds -- and they say it has not been pocket change -- too often came from their coffers. During Republican Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Nuclear power. Mining. Regulations. Duck season. Those and more issues will be debated in Minnesota legislative environmental committees run by Republicans during the session that begins January 4. The House and Senate committees likely will feature less tree hugging and more business hugging than those run by Democratic-Farmer-Laborites in the past. "We are going to discuss some things that they didn't discuss," said Rep.
ST. PAUL -- "Neighbors peered out of frosted windows, watching the (snow storm) victims across the street futilely slip and slide, wheels grinding up and down the icy incline of their driveways. "Out of the windows of the high-rise office buildings facing the southeastern corner of Minneapolis, wide-eyed dwellers witnessed an even more harrowing sight. ... The stadium's dome was undeniably, uncontrollably, unmercifully, sinking." Sounds familiar. But it was not a report from this month's Metrodome collapse, but about a similar 1981 incident before it even was open.
ST. PAUL - The most significant federal tax bill in years passed Congress, and produced strange political bedfellows. Who would have imagined that conservative Tea Party star U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann would side with liberals Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum against a tax measure? It may have been just a little less of a surprise that conservative John Kline and liberal Jim Oberstar sided. Minnesota's senators, both Democrats, voted for the bill keeping the Bush-era tax cuts in place, although they held their noses while doing so.
ST. PAUL - Governor-elect Mark Dayton appears ready to support a new Vikings stadium, under certain circumstances and if someone else draws up the plan, but House Republicans are not enthusiastic about it. Dayton met with House speaker-designate Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, Tuesday and they emerged from the meeting downplaying any stadium talk. "We were focused a lot more on jobs and the economy," Zellers said.