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 6 months
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's political old guard says current politicians should not draw new legislative and congressional districts. Those in politics have so much self-interest that they should not do the basic redistricting work required once a decade, five long-time Minnesota political leaders said on Tuesday. This year, with a big divide between Democrat Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Mid-career professionals who want to become teachers now have a way to do that. Gov. Mark Dayton this morning signed a bill into law establishing guidelines for how professional from other fields, especially math and science, can earn their teacher licenses without going through traditional colleges. However, they still would be required to attend classes about how to teach. The bill signing brought together Democrat Dayton and legislative leaders from both parties.
ST. PAUL -- The tweets flew fast and furious Thursday afternoon as Minnesota legislators debated what Republicans said was Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton's tax-increase plan. Democrats accused Republicans of playing games with the budget, and skipping important committee meetings to debate a plan Dayton has yet to formally release. Republicans, on the other hand, took great joy in tweeting that only one Democrat - Sen.
ST. PAUL -- The Republican-controlled Senate voted 63-1 today against Gov. Dayton's proposal to raise taxes on Minnesota's richest residents, but Dayton and other Democrats called the debate meaningless theater. "I'm glad people are having fun," Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said sarcastically. "I hope some of your relatives are watching." Only Sen.
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 now heads to negotiators to work out differences. Democrats complained about a provision in Senator 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 coop" is how Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Good news to the tune of $1.2 billion changed little about Minnesota's budget debate. There was little evidence after Monday's news that a projected budget deficit has dropped from $6.2 billion to $5 billion smoothed differences between Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton and Republicans who control the Legislature. "It is still a matter of serious concern," Dayton said. Democrats and Republicans could not even agree on who was responsible for the better budget news. House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, thanked employers and employees for paying more taxes to the state.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton's Cabinet may be the most diverse in Minnesota history, but it still is dominated by white males. It also may be one of the least partisan, but Senate Republicans who must confirm commissioners cast a wary eye on some appointments. And Twin Cities residents are a majority on the 25-member Cabinet, but at least 10 bring strong greater Minnesota connections. "It is very important," political science professor Kathryn Pearson of the University of Minnesota said of Cabinet picks.
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.