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 -- 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.
ST. PAUL -- Winter is setting in, giving soldiers on the front line of the Asian carp war a few months to form and implement a battle plan. "We have a brief window of time," Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Ted is ready for the spotlight. Really ready. In fact, he is so ready that he escaped from his cage in a dark corner of the governor's reception room Friday, and made a break for the bright television lights. Ted proudly strutted past the gubernatorial podium and into plain sight in a large empty area in front of it, where still cameras clicked, video cameras whirred and reporters scribbled notes that looked like turkey scratching. Val Brown quickly launched into action, and as the Willmar FFA's chief turkey handler saved the surprised politicians and media from Ted. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday ordered an election to allow child care providers to vote whether they want a union representing them. Republicans immediately said they will go to court to prevent next month's vote. Dayton said child care providers who receive state subsidies asked him to unilaterally order union representation to improve their wages and working conditions. However, he said, the American way is to conduct an election. The vote will happen next month, with results to be announced Dec.