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 -- The smiles seen on Jan. 4, opening day of the 2011 legislative session, became frowns by Monday as Minnesota's 201 lawmakers headed home with no idea when they will wrap up their primary job: writing a two-year budget. Republicans who run the Legislature said they did their part before the Monday night constitutional adjournment date. They passed 10 budget and tax bills to fund state government with $34 billion for the two years beginning July 1. However, Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton says he is pessimistic of any real movement toward a budget deal today, the final day of the 2011 regular legislative session, and Republicans in control of the Legislature could point to no progress. Nine budget and tax bills sit on Dayton's desk for signatures or vetoes, and all indications are it will be the latter. "Where there is a will, there's a way," Dayton said, "but there has to be some willingness." Dayton said Republicans refuse to come off their $34 billion two-year budget target.
ST. PAUL -- An 18-month campaign about gay marriage began moments after the Minnesota House approved a constitutional amendment on the issue late Saturday. And if the five-hour House debate is any indication, Minnesotans are in for 18 months of emotional and hard-fought campaigning. The campaign is expected to bring in millions of dollars for both sides. An hour after the House voted 70-62 to ask voters to decide whether marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman, those opposed to the amendment launched their campaign, Minnesotans United for All Families. Bill sponsor Rep.
ST. PAUL -- One comment says it all: "Not much progress was made." With those words, House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, summarized this morning's budget talks between legislative leaders and Gov. Mark Dayton. Facing a Monday night deadline to complete the budget in the 2011 legislative session, there appeared no way that can happen.
ST. PAUL -- Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday vetoed a Republican-written plan to redraw state legislative and federal congressional districts. Earlier, he said that he would not sign any redistricting plan -- or other election-related bills -- without broad bipartisan support. The redistricting plans left the House and Senate on mostly party-line votes. In a letter to lawmakers, Dayton said that he had warned them that he would not approve a redistricting plan drawn "for the purpose of protecting or defeating incumbents." Dayton said the U.S.
ST. PAUL -- Two colorful quotes demonstrate the tough state of the Minnesota Legislature. "Anyway, back to King Tut," Sen. Sandra Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, told fellow senators as she returned to a lengthy discussion of all things Tut and dinosaur, saying the Science Museum of Minnesota would be hurt by a bill cutting state programs. House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, showed the mood of chief policymakers when he described Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's legislative leaders and governor say, in effect, that they are done negotiating with themselves and at least are talking about working together on a new state budget. But in case that does not work, several of Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will host an early Tuesday meeting with the National Football League commissioner and sponsors of legislation to build a new Vikings stadium. Commissioner Roger Goodell is in Minnesota to discuss the $1 billion stadium project, which the Vikings want to build in the northwestern Ramsey County community of Arden Hills. Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, said he and Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, are among those on the pre-breakfast guest list at Dayton's official state residence.