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 and Wisconsin governors are trying to fix a tax controversy they inherited upon taking office last week. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Friday sent Wisconsin Gov.
By Don Davis State Capitol Bureau ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's new human services commissioner promises to spend a lot of time outside the Twin Cities. Lucinda Jesson, a Hamline University law professor, said she and her husband like traveling the state, but she has missed three northwestern Minnesota counties and a few other areas like International Falls. "You will see me," she said in a Forum Communications interview. "I want to make greater Minnesota a focus." Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's former adjutant general will be the next state veterans' affairs commissioner. Gov. Mark Dayton this morning announced that Larry Shellito will head the Veterans' Affairs Department. It is the latest of a series of Dayton Cabinet announcements. Shellito, who lives in Woodbury, stepped down as the state's National Guard leader last year after seven years. He is a former Alexandria Technical College president and a Minnesota State University Moorhead graduate. "While a U.S. senator and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I worked closely with Gen.
ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota House committee voted Tuesday to allow new nuclear power plants in the state, with another vote coming soon to remove a ban on new coal power plants and to allow North Dakota coal and electrical power. Rep. Denny McNamara, R-Hastings, promised to work with Gov. Mark Dayton on both issues.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton plans to bring together state officials to discuss security around the Capitol complex in light of Saturday's Arizona shooting of a congresswoman and those attending her public event. "This is a moment of great national solemnity," Dayton said before joining a nationwide moment of silence in memory of the six who died and those hurt in the shooting. Dayton said he has not changed his security, but wants to talk to legislative leaders, law enforcement officers and others about whether changes are needed to Capitol complex security.
ST. PAUL -- The transportation committees, in some ways, may be the envy of the Minnesota Legislature. While other committees struggle to plug a $6.2 billion budget gap, most of the $5.8 billion transportation budget is from funds dedicated to roads, transit and other transportation needs. State gasoline tax proceeds and other such revenue used to fund transportation may be declining a bit, but they remain stronger than the overall state budget and cannot be used to fix the budget problem. "Transportation is going to continue to chug on," said Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.-elect Mark Dayton wants the state to borrow $1 billion for public works construction projects around the state. He should not get his heart set on it. "We are so diametrically opposed," said Rep. Larry Howes, House chairman of the committee that would send projects to Democrat Dayton. "Someone has to give." And the Walker Republican, not always in lockstep with his party leaders, indicated that he is not ready to give. "We will say, obviously, we are not going to have a bonding bill," Howes said of a public works bill financed by the state selling bonds.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota grew by 384,446 people in the past decade, but 15,000 is a more important number. Minnesota beat North Carolina by 15,000 people to keep its eight U.S. House seats. Had 15,000 fewer Minnesotans filled out their census forms last spring, the state would be faced with figuring out how to draw congressional district lines for just seven House seats. District lines still will be redrawn in the next year to fulfill the one person, one vote federal requirement.