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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The Minnesota Legislature went into special session this afternoon to pass a state budget, almost immediately recessing to discuss the bills in private. There was no indication when lawmakers would approve spending more than $35 billion in the next two years, ending the state's longest government shutdown. Before recessing, senators heard Sen. Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis, say that a document legislative leaders and Gov. Mark Dayton signed that says no budget bill will be amended carries no legal weight.
ST. PAUL - Signs that the Minnesota government shutdown soon may end are surfacing, but work remains. Gov. Mark Dayton ordered the state Capitol to open again at 9 a.m.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota leaders hope a special legislative session starts Monday to finish the state budget and end a state government shutdown. Gov. Mark Dayton said on Minnesota Public Radio this noon that he and legislative leaders set a 10 p.m.
ST. PAUL -- Key elements of an offer by Gov. Mark Dayton to end a budget impasse and a government shutdown, which Republicans leaders agreed to in general Thursday night: -- Delay state payments to schools, providing $700 million -- Borrow against future tobacco lawsuit payments, providing $700 million -- Drop a Republican plan to reduce state workforce 15 percent -- Remove all policy items not related to the budget from spending bills -- Pass a public works construction bill of at least $500 million Don Davis reports for Forum Communications Co.
ST. PAUL -- Schools get money during Minnesota's state government shutdown, so a pair of legislative transportation leaders say road construction funding also should continue. A judge hearing the case gave them little hope that she would allow resumption of the 98 road construction projects the shutdown idled. An estimated 10,000 workers were on road projects before the shutdown. "Due to the shutdown, the public is going to be weaving through cones and barrels," Rep. Michal Beard, R-Shakopee told Chief Judge Kathleen Gearin in her Ramsey County courtroom on Wednesday. Beard and Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.
ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota Capitol undercurrent for months has suggested gambling as a way to help solve a budget impasse that now has become the longest government shutdown in state history. "The governor wants more revenue, Republicans want no new taxes," Rep. John Kriesel recently tweeted. "Enter racino and Block E. True compromise. Both sides win. Minnesota wins." The Cottage Grove Republican is one of the outspoken gambling supporters, but many other lawmakers oppose more gambling or have said little about using it as a way to bring more money into the state treasury.
ST. PAUL -- Count many Minnesota legislators among those who expect a long government shutdown. "My gut tells me that if this goes two weeks, it will go until January," Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker said. Sen. Tom Saxhaug, DFL-Grand Rapids, added that a quick end to the shutdown is not likely. "I'm not real optimistic at the moment.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota state government is in a partial shutdown and the first budget negotiations in days resulted in nothing more than an agreement to meet again. When Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton was asked what can be done to reach a budget deal with Republican leaders, his only response was: "That's our challenge. ...