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 Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon leaves for China on an economic development mission Wednesday with lieutenant governors from five other states. The National Lieutenant Governors Association hosts the mission through Oct. 20 with a goal of expanding trade with the world's most populous country. Joining Prettner Solon will be lieutenant governors from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa and Nebraska.
ST. PAUL -- Tim Pawlenty now thinks he spent too much time and money in Iowa, and Monday night said that if he knew then what he knows now he probably would still be in the Republican presidential race. After his official governor's portrait was unveiled Monday night in the Minnesota Capitol, he said that in hindsight he may have pulled out of the race too soon. "We were out of money; to go forward you have to have money," Pawlenty said.
ST. PAUL -- President Barack Obama plans a southern Minnesota visit next week to start a three-state rural Midwestern tour. The White House late Tuesday afternoon issued a statement with no details. "President Obama will travel to the Midwest on a three-day economic bus tour, making stops in southern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa and western Illinois," the short White House statement said.
ST. PAUL -- Here is a look at bills the Minnesota Legislature passed during its special session, called to fund state government for two years: -- Health and human services -- $11.4 billion, about $1 billion more than the last budget. No one receiving health care should lose services. The tax Minnesotans pay health-care providers is due to expire in 2019. Tobacco bonds approaching $700 million are used to fund some of the programs. The bonds come from borrowed money to be repaid with proceeds from a tobacco lawsuit settlement.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.
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.