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 -- Minnesota's new Democratic governor called a Republican-written budget-cutting plan unconstitutional when he vetoed it Thursday, and neither he nor legislative leaders showed any sign of compromise as they work to plug a $6.2 billion budget deficit. Gov. Mark Dayton, sworn in on Jan. 3, rejected the bill that would have cut $824 million from the next two-year state budget and $100 million from the budget that ends June 30.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's first State of the State speech centered on cooperation. He asked Republicans who control the Legislature to work with him in solving the state's $6.2 billion budget deficit. Democrat Dayton said that he is concerned that a Republican committee already has discussed a government shutdown, something that could happen is he and legislative leaders cannot agree on a budget solution.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota state boards, commissions and even entire agencies could begin disappearing if legislators agree to bills making their way through the Legislature. The House State Government Finance Committee approved one bill Tuesday and considered a second to create a "sunset commission" charged with the job of determining whether parts of state government deserve to continue. "It is a commission to do away with other commissions, agencies and boards," Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Liquor could be sold on Sundays under a bill introduced by Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth. "Minnesota's current statutes prohibiting the sale of alcohol on Sundays puts our state at a competitive and economic disadvantage-particularly in communities that border Wisconsin," Reinert said. "Wisconsin already got a win with the Packers going to the Super Bowl, why give them another win with Minnesota tax dollars?" "Sunday liquor sale laws are remnants of a bygone era that no longer make sense in a 21st Century world," Reinert said.
ST. PAUL -- No new Minnesota nuclear power plants are planned, but state senators overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to lift a 16-year-old moratorium on building one. "It is not a decision to construct a new nuclear power plant in the state of Minnesota..." Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, said about the vote. "It is not a preference for nuclear power." Long-time nuclear opponent Sen. Ellen Anderson, DFL-St.
Budget bill up Republicans' first stab at balancing the state's $6.2 billion budget deficit is due for a full House vote tonight. About $200 million of $1 billion in cuts proposed in the bill would come before July 1, with the rest in the next two-year budget cycle.
The mood inside the U.S. House chamber during Tuesday night's State of the Union speech was more subdued than in recent years, but after the president delivered his speech U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann took him head-on. "For two years, President Obama made promises just like the ones we heard him make tonight," the Minnesota congresswoman said. "Yet still we have high unemployment, devalued housing prices and the cost of gasoline is skyrocketing." Even with a new atmosphere that followed the Jan. 8 shooting of U.S. Rep.