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 -- Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty will have an experienced lieutenant governor as his running mate in this year's governor election. He named Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach to that role Thursday, May 31. Fischbach has been No. 2 in the executive branch since early this year, while still holding onto her Senate seat. She resigned from the Senate last week, after Pawlenty asked her to join his ticket.
ST. PAUL — Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign or veto a public works funding bill for projects around Minnesota on Wednesday, May 30. If he signs the bill, he could eliminate some of the projects lawmakers approved. Also, his office says he will sign a pension-protection bill Thursday in a public ceremony. A number of other bills await his signature or veto, but he indicated they were not controversial.
ST. PAUL -- Michelle Fischbach is resigning her Minnesota Senate seat to become lieutenant governor. Gov. Mark Dayton's office announced Friday morning, May 25, that the Paynesville Republican would take the oath Friday morning.
ST. PAUL -- The veto pen found found most legislation Minnesota lawmakers passed this year. Gov. Mark Dayton announced Wednesday, May 23, that he vetoed the session's major legislation, citing numerous problems with the Republican-written bills. He said he hopes to decide by Friday on the final major bill of the session, funding public works projects. "Very irresponsible" was how Dayton described the legislative session.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota's governor and legislative leaders began negotiating finances and policy just over 24 hours before their constitutional deadline. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton gave the Republican-controlled Legislature an offer Saturday night, May 19, the first movement after three months of the legislative session. And lawmakers were considering taking up the major budget-policy bill late Saturday even without a deal with Dayton.
ST. PAUL—There is no proof that state money to help low-income Minnesota families afford child care ended up in the hands of terrorists, but the mere mention of it causes concern among many legislators and the Somali community. "I think it has a national security implication, I really do," former state investigator Scott Stillman told a Senate human services committee Tuesday, May 15.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota House passage of a public works funding bill signals the beginning of the end to the 2018 Minnesota Legislature. The House voted 84-39 Monday, May 14, for a bill that would borrow about $1 billion for everything from fixing college buildings to building water-treatment plants throughout the state. "I cannot guarantee you are going to get another chance," Chairman Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, told fellow representatives as he urged support. Some of the major areas of spending include:
ST. PAUL—Minnesota would collect $20 million from opioid painkiller makers and distributors under Senate-passed legislation. "We cannot continue to go at this pace," Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Vernon Center, said about an epidemic of deaths due to opioid abuse. "We are losing people daily." Senators backed the bill 60-6 Thursday, May 10. It is one of the major bills in the Legislature this year, and one that especially rural Minnesotans say is at the top of their priority lists.