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 7 months
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's Iron Range lawmakers say a Republican proposal to take up to $60 million from an economic development fund for their area is stealing. Money from the Douglas J. Johnson Fund are supposed to be used to diversity jobs on the Range, where most work is related to mining.
ST. PAUL -- An eight-year-old effort to keep sex offenders in jail longer began a new trek through the Minnesota Legislature. The House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee unanimously approved a proposal that would force many of the worst offenders to spend 60 years in prison, followed by a decade of supervised release. Those "worst of the worst" sex offenders would serve twice the current sentences under the bill by Rep.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Legislature is racing toward a self-imposed Friday budget deadline amid protesters fearing Wisconsin-type anti-union laws, Republicans bucking their party chairman by proposing racinos and key lawmakers saying their budget plans will not be finished by Friday. "Welcome to Phase One of a yet-to-be-determined number of phases, I fear," Chairman Jim Abeler of the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee said Monday as he introduced his budget plan. The Anoka Republican said that his proposal will change before reaching Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton's desk.
ST. PAUL -- Republican state budget plans will become clear this week, although no one expects the governor to agree. A week ago, the GOP released a budget outline, and legislative committees now are debating details. Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, said that Republicans who control the Legislature will send their own budget bills to Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota policymakers want to quickly launch a long-discussed war on plants and animals invading the state. Asian carp, including ones that jump out of the water and hit boaters, are the most publicized invasive species. While those carp have not arrived in Minnesota, much smaller zebra mussels, spiny waterfleas and the Eurasian watermilfoil plant already are common in areas. "Once they take over, it is too late," Governor Mark Dayton said Wednesday as he joined lawmakers to support a $4 million-a-year plan to fight the invasion.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's speeches these days contain one sure-fire applause line: "We're not Wisconsin." That is true, and Minnesotans appreciate the fact that thousands of protesters have not descended on their Capitol.
ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota House committee that usually approves spending money to build government facilities voted Tuesday to call back $59 million already approved from as far back as 1994. The bill would stop some long-planned rail and trail projects in their tracks, as well as others that have not started as quickly as some lawmakers want. The bill also cancels spending that no longer is needed. Saving money is the reason behind the effort, House Capital Investment Chairman Larry Howes, R-Walker, said.