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 economy is improving, but don't look for it to be back at full strength any time soon. State Economist Tom Stinson predicts that the economy will not rise back to pre-recession levels for at least two more years. There has been good news for agriculture, health care and tourism industries in recent months. And Minnesota sales to other countries are looking up.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's Republican chairman called reporters to his office a block north of the state Capitol the day after the election to outline what he saw as irregularities in voting, irregularities he said could affect the governor's race. "The race for governor is not over," Sutton declared in an emotional, rising voice. "We are concerned there are so many discrepancies." He wanted all the publicity he could get, complaining about Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and how the Nov. 2 election was run. Fast forward to the past few days and find a different Tony Sutton.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans should not feel an impact from a growing state budget deficit, at least not for a few months. When legislators return to the Capitol on Jan. 4, they will debate the next two-year budget and an issue that does matter to Minnesotans: raising taxes vs. cutting state programs. State leaders' jobs became more difficult Thursday when finance officials announced the state would face a $6.2 billion deficit in the two years beginning next July 1.
ST. PAUL -- Tom Emmer said today that he is not gaining enough votes in a recount to win the Minnesota governor race, but said he needs more answers before ending his post-elect effort. The Republican state representative from Delano said he expects most ballot challenges his team issued during this week's recount to be withdraw, perhaps as early as this afternoon.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota cities and schools will not need to help plug a state budget gap this month, but the state faces a major budget deficit as lawmakers prepare to decide on spending and revenue for the next two years. State finance officials today released a budget forecast showing a $6.2 billion deficit for the next two-year budget, up from a projected $5.8 billion.
ST. PAUL -- More than 84 percent of the 2.1 million Minnesota governor race ballots have been counted a second time, with Democrat Mark Dayton maintaining a lead far bigger than any Minnesota recount ever has overturned. Short of a major surprise, Republican Tom Emmer cannot find enough recounted votes to overtake the 8,773-vote Dayton lead, three more than he had heading into the recount.
ST. PAUL -- One of Minnesota's two governor hopefuls is in Washington, D.C. today, meeting with governors and White House officials, while representatives of the other are challenging ballots and thinking about challenging the election in court. Democrat Mark Dayton, holding his statewide recount lead of nearly 9,000 votes, is off to the annual Democratic Governors' Association meeting as he prepares to be governor.
ST. PAUL -- Recount 2010 started quietly Monday, with one exception, as Mark Dayton picked up a mere 24 votes in the Minnesota governor race. Democrat Dayton extended his lead over Republican Tom Emmer to 8,794 votes out of 2.1 million ballots cast.
ST. PAUL -- Nearly 70 counties have finished recounting votes in the Minnesota governor race, with Mark Dayton's camp claiming he picked up 177 votes in the first day. Monday night's unofficial secretary of state tally showed that the Democratic hopeful had gained 24 votes on Republican Tom Emmer. About half of the state's Nov. 2 ballots have been recounted and there is no evidence that Emmer has made inroads into Dayton's nearly 9,000-vote lead. While he has about 2,000 volunteers and staffers around the state watching recounts, Dayton headed to Washington, D.C.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's least-populated counties wasted no time today recounting their portion of 2.1 million ballots in the governor's race. Cook, Hubbard, Mahnomen, Wilkin, Jackson, Norman, Cottonwood, Wadena, Watonwan, Rock, Red Lake, Lincoln and Traverse counties wrapped up their work by early afternoon. Many other counties, mostly outside of the Twin Cities, were expected to finish their work by day's end. Early reports indicated that vote totals for Republican Tom Emmer and Democrat Mark Dayton were changing little.