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—Gov. Mark Dayton needs to accept a smaller public works bill, the Minnesota Senate chairman in charge of the issue says. "I don't have a nickel more to spend on bonding," Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, said Wednesday, May 9, after releasing his public works funding bill. Democrat Dayton earlier this year unveiled a $1.5 billion bonding bill, a proposal that did not include local projects that he said merit funding, leaving him supporting $2.3 billion in public works projects.
ST. PAUL — Rural Minnesota legislators say the most-heard needs from their constituents is lack of affordable child care, and now senators have approved legislation they hope helps. On Monday, May 7, senators overwhelmingly approved three bills written to help reduce regulations home-based child care providers say could drive them out of business. "In rural Minnesota, the lack of child care has become a crisis," Sen. Bill Weber, R-Luverne, said.
ST. PAUL—Repairing, not building, is a public works priority for Minnesota House Republicans. Instead of constructing lots of new buildings, they propose fixing roofs, painting peeling walls and other such routine but needed work. The House public works plan, to be funded by the state selling bonds, would spend $825 million, Republicans announced late Wednesday afternoon, May 2. Of that, $364 million would go to preserve state facilities.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota water advocates gathered at the Capitol for their annual Clean Water Action Day when at least one water controversy seems to be easing. House Agriculture Chairman Paul Anderson, R-Starbuck, said Wednesday, May 2, an hour before the clean-water rally that farmers now pretty much accept a Dayton administration draft rule on nitrogen fertilizer, although he said they still do not trust the administration.
ST. PAUL — The Woodbury Republican mayor running for Minnesota governor has picked a rural lawmaker to be her running mate. Mary Giuliani Stephens announced on Wednesday, May 2, that Rep. Jeff Backer from Browns Valley will run for lieutenant governor. The team represents the two geographic areas Republicans must carry to win a general election: the suburbs and rural Minnesota.
ST. PAUL—Gov. Mark Dayton said he read a couple of news stories over the weekend about unexpected financial shortfalls schools face, and on Tuesday, May 1, produced a request for $138 million in "emergency" funding. He said that 59 districts face immediate budget deficits, and he wants to split the "emergency" money among all districts across the states. Republicans who lead legislative education finance committees said they have done a good job of funding schools in recent years, and more funding likely will not come.
ST. PAUL — Rural Republican state lawmakers say Minnesota Department of Transportation officials only funded Twin Cities-area projects from the Corridors of Commerce program. Two of the four projects to get funding are in the Twin Cities and two are on its edge. None of the projects announced Tuesday, May 1, is in what the rural Legislators consider greater Minnesota.
ST. PAUL—Taxes have taken over as the 2018 Minnesota Legislative session's No. 1 issue, thanks federal tax law changes that will affect most Americans. The House tax plan passed 90-38 Monday, April 30, and Senate Republicans announce their proposal Tuesday morning, making it the third plan as Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton announced his wishes weeks ago. The House Republican majority says its measure will provide 2.1 million Minnesotans tax cuts. If the Legislature and Dayton do nothing, about 300,000 would pay more.
ST. PAUL—What we have here is a failure to communicate. That is what Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt said on Thursday, April 26, about news coverage of gun legislation written from his comments a day earlier. "Obviously, there was some misunderstanding of our press conference," Daudt said late Thursday afternoon, after spending the day trying to make sure gun-rights advocates knew that he still supports them. "It is my fault too, because I wasn't as clear as I should have been," he added.
ST. PAUL -- A state representative, who often fights for agriculture and people with disabilities, stands accused of inappropriate behavior.