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 -- Minnesota's new budget deficit reportedly will be about $5 billion, down from $6.2 billion. Still, the state faces a massive deficit that legislators and the governor will debate through the spring. The $5 billion figure for the next two-year budget was reported before the official announcement later today. The official announcement will include details about why the deficit dropped and what could happen if the economy takes another turn. To put it in perspective, at $5 billion it still tops the Wisconsin deficit by more than $1 billion.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House overwhelmingly voted Thursday to put a stop to "a new phenomenon" that law enforcement officials call dangerous. Synthetic marijuana is sold as incense, but acts much like plant marijuana when used, and Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Todd Everson was there on John Kriesel's worst day, so it was only appropriate that he sat behind the freshmen legislator on one of his best days. On Dec. 2, 2006, Everson was in the lead vehicle of a military convoy near Fallujah, Iraq, when a roadside bomb blew up Kriesel's Humvee 200 feet behind him.
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 heads negotiators to work out differences. Democrats complained about a provision in Sen. 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 coup" is how Sen.
ST. PAUL - Eight city officials praising Governor Mark Dayton for efforts to preserve state aid to cities said they would not raise property taxes if the aid continues. The officials told Capitol reporters Wednesday that the Democratic governor's budget proposal would save residents money.
ST. PAUL -- Eight city officials praising Gov. Mark Dayton for efforts to preserve state aid to cities said they would not raise property taxes if the aid continues. The officials told Capitol reporters Wednesday that the Democratic governor's budget proposal would save residents money.
ST. PAUL -- A race track in the works for 18 years and company that wants to build an electric power plant have four years to buy land in Hibbing, assuming they convince the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board their ideas are workable. The board voted Wednesday night to give the two projects an option on 840 acres, mostly reclaimed mining land, in Hibbing. Both projects are far from sure bets. The race track project, known as the Iron Range Racing Complex, would develop a motorsport and horseracing track on 615 acres of the land.
ST. PAUL -- A thousand Minnesota union workers, some still wearing their hard hats, rallied in the state Capitol after work Tuesday to show support for their Wisconsin brethren who are fighting a Republican governor and legislators working to remove most public employee bargaining rights. "We are all in this fight together," Stillwater teacher Josiah Hill said. "Today, we are all Badgers." The Minnesota rally, one of the largest ever held inside the Capitol, was one of many staged around the country as leaders in other states wait to see if the Wisconsin strife spills over. Minnesota Gov.
The "cheeseburger bill" overcame opposition from trial lawyers and Democrats Monday to notch its first victory in its seventh run through the Minnesota Legislature. Representative Dean Urdahl's much-traveled bill to prohibit lawsuits against food makers and sellers by people who gain weight passed on a voice vote, with Democrats opposed, in the House Civil Law Committee. With a large McDonald's drink cup in hand, Urdahl said his "Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act" likely will pass this year.
ST. PAUL -- Two former Republican lawmakers survived partisan controversy Monday night to become University of Minnesota regents. Ex-House Speaker Steve Sviggum of Kenyon will represent the 2nd Congressional District, mostly south of the Twin Cities, and former Rep. Laura Brod of New Prague will be an at-large member of the university's governing board. They join former Sen.