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 -- Perhaps a hardy breakfast can lead to a truce between one of Minnesota's most conservative Republicans, who wants to serve in Congress, and the state's liberal Democratic governor. After a day of back-and-forth emails and letters sharply criticizing each other, Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, late Friday afternoon accepted an invitation from Gov. Mark Dayton for a fence-mending breakfast this week. The spat, the latest of several between the two politicians, was about a day care unionization vote Dayton wanted but a judge ruled was not within his power to call.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton is challenging a court order blocking an election that would allow in-home day care workers to join unions. His spokeswoman, Katharine Tinucci, said he will dispute the issue at a Jan. 17 Ramsey County Court hearing. Judge Dale Lindman on Monday ordered a temporary injunction to stop the election, set to begin this week, saying such a decision should be made by the Legislature. He scheduled a Jan.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota cattle producers faced six emotional and financially challenging years, but now they celebrate a re-opening of markets nationwide after the state has been declared free of bovine tuberculosis. Gov. Mark Dayton Wednesday issued a proclamation proclaiming TB free day for the state's cattle industry after 58 herds were destroyed and 800,000 animals tested. The TB battle began in 2005 when a northwestern Minnesota cattleman reported that one of his cattle headed to slaughter appeared sick.
ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota day care provider vote to join unions is least temporarily on hold. A judge Monday ordered a stop to an election that was to begin Wednesday. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton last month ordered the vote, which two unions have sought for six years. Ramsey County District Court Judge Dale Lindman issued a temporary restraining order and said that the proposal should go through the Legislature, not be ordered by a governor. Dayton said he would meet with Attorney General Lori Swanson before deciding how to proceed. Lindman set a Jan.
ST. PAUL -- The revelation of an $876 million Minnesota budget surplus includes a dark side. Gov. Mark Dayton showed the two sides by calling Thursday's announcement "terrific news," moments later adding that it is "no time to celebrate." "We're not out of the fiscal woods by any means," he said. The takeaway for an average Minnesotan is that no one should expect a return to the old days of higher state spending. For the time being, the projected surplus will stay in the bank, where the state economist said it should remain.
ST. PAUL -- Jaws dropped this morning as Minnesota leaders learned the state budget will be $876 million bigger than earlier thought. But the news came with warnings: -- A $1.3 billion deficit is expected in two years. -- The Minnesota economy could take another turn for the worse if the European economy stumbles. -- The good news depends, in part, on continuation of a federal tax cut established in the President George W.
ST. PAUL -- Questions abound two weeks before some Minnesota in-home day-care providers vote about whether to join unions. Key among those questions is how many of the 11,000 in-home day-care providers will be allowed to vote. Also unanswered is whether anything the unions negotiate with the state will affect those who are not part of unions. "We are in uncharted waters here," Rep. Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska, said Monday, because no one can recall a similar election in which private businesses are being asked to vote to form a union to negotiate with the state.