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
- 3 years 11 months
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's new budget deficit will be about $5 billion, down from $6.2 billion, but there are so many unanswered economic questions that the budget also could end up in worse shape. Even with the better number, the state faces a massive deficit that legislators and the governor will debate through the spring. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- A thousand Minnesota union workers, some still wearing their hard hats, rallied in the state Capitol after work Tuesday to show support for their Wisconsin brethren who are fighting a Republican governor and legislators working to remove most public employee bargaining rights. "We are all in this fight together," Stillwater teacher Josiah Hill said. "Today, we are all Badgers." The Minnesota rally, one of the largest ever held inside the Capitol, was one of many staged around the country as leaders in other states wait to see if the Wisconsin strife spills over. Minnesota Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton wants to preserve state aid to local communities while raising taxes on the richest Minnesotans and increasing education spending in a budget proposal he released this morning. The Democrat's total budget plan for the next two years would be $37 billion, up from just over $30 billion in the budget that ends June 30. At the same time, he makes cuts to help balance a $6.2 billion budget deficit. There were few surprises, since he talked extensively about the budget during a year he campaigned for governor.
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.