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
- 5 years 11 months
ST. PAUL—Almost every morning when I come to work, part of the trip is on a 10-lane-wide stretch of freeway. It is a long ways from my 4,000-population hometown in southern Iowa's rolling hills in many ways.
ST. PAUL — The 219,000 Minnesotans paid minimum wage will get a raise Jan. 1. State officials announced Thursday, Aug. 23, that employees of large businesses will be paid at least $9.86 an hour, up from $9.65 that is required today. Those who work for smaller businesses will be paid a minimum of $8.04, compared to the current $7.87.
ST. PAUL — A governor's housing task force says 300,000 homes should be built by 2030 in Minnesota, but provides few specific suggestions about how to reach the goal. The task force released its report Tuesday, Aug. 21, with 30 broad recommendations of what the state needs to provide adequate affordable housing. Gov. Mark Dayton said a half million Minnesotans "are struggling to afford quality housing." But he said that in the slightly more than four months he has left in office there is "not much" he can do to promote the recommendations.
ST. PAUL — The White House is leaving no doubt that Minnesota is important in its 2018 political strategy. The Minnesota Republican Party announced Monday, Aug. 20, that Vice President Mike Pence will be in Bloomington on Aug. 30, with a fundraiser the only thing on his agenda so far. When Pence and President Donald Trump have been here this year, they also have fit in rallies and other events to help GOP candidates.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn.—Minnesota's five major governor candidates bent over backwards to show they are on farmers' side during the first forum with them all. Each told farmers at Farmfest near Redwood Falls about their connections to greater Minnesota, hoping to win votes in the Tuesday, Aug. 14, primary election and the Nov. 6 general election. For Republicans, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he was was the farmers' champion when he served before and Jeff Johnson said he grew up in greater Minnesota, so understands the issues.
ST. PAUL—Dealing with sex offenders has been one of Minnesota's most difficult problems for at least 15 years.
MANKATO, Minn.—Greater Minnesota leaders left a governor candidate forum not surprised that they saw big differences in how the two parties would deal with their issues. Two Democrats talked about adding money to state programs for cities in the Thursday night, July 26, Mankato forum. The lone Republican said he will not promise to spend more on any state program.
ST. PAUL—Elected officials seeking re-election, or hoping to win another office, often make announcements that make it unclear if they are handing out official information or campaigning. The line is blurry. Take, for instance, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz's Wednesday, July 18, news conference. He usually holds news conferences in his southern Minnesota U.S. House district. But his recent one came in the Capitol complex in St. Paul, which is more likely to attract statewide attention (but just three reporters showed up).
ST. PAUL—Minnesota's election chief says President Donald Trump made United States elections less secure with his comments doubting Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. "We know that Russia attempted to attack our election system across the United States in 2016, including unsuccessfully here in Minnesota," Secretary of State Steve Simon said Monday, July 16, hours after Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin stood side by side telling reporters what just happened in their meeting behind closed doors.
ST. PAUL—New Minnesota driver's licenses will be more difficult to forge, be easier for law enforcement officers to read and contain more information. Some of the new licenses, and identification cards, will be available starting Aug. 6, but "people don't need to rush in and apply for a new card," Dawn Olson said on Monday, July 16. Olson, the state Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services director, said Minnesotans with a current valid licenses or IDs can continue using them.