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 - Roots of the word "allot" go back centuries in English, French and German languages. "Unallot," on the other hand, hardly can be found in a dictionary. But it is the most popular - or unpopular, depending upon a person's political persuasion - in the Minnesota Capitol these days. When Republican Gov.
ST. PAUL - Flood prevention and recovery projects will be fully funded, but Gov. Tim Pawlenty trimmed a public works funding bill, saying legislators want to spend too much. The bill originally proposed spending $361 million, with $300 million coming from funds the state would borrow.
ST. PAUL - Money talk became emotional Sunday as Minnesota representatives sustained two vetoes -- one that ends a health program for the state's poorest and sickest residents and the other that would have raised taxes $1 billion. With the Legislature facing a midnight tonight deadline for adjourning, the House votes cement Gov. Tim Pawlenty's position that he will cut state programs on his own to balance the state budget.
ST. PAUL - Margaret Anderson Kelliher's gubernatorial stock rose in recent days. As the legislative session neared its Monday end, many Capitol observers say the House speaker has emerged as a leading 2010 governor candidate. The trouble is, she has not said she is running. Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, has provided the middle ground between Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Senate Democratic leader Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis, in the past.
ST. PAUL - The Minnesota legislative session could come to a smooth end if the Democratic-controlled Legislature and Republican governor could agree on a way to raise $1 billion. There is no sign that is about to happen. On Tuesday night, the costliest spending bills and revenue to fund them remained stumbling blocks to ending this year's session by Monday's constitutional deadline. Legislative leaders were determined to finish the outstanding budget bills - even without Gov.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota legislators moved Monday night to make sure state agencies can spend money even if lawmakers do not agree on a budget. Senators passed the measure 45-19,with Democrats favoring it and Republicans generally opposed.
ST. PAUL - Working together is a better solution for rural school woes than combining school districts, a Minnesota Center for Rural Policy and Development concludes. "A state policy should be developed to help foster collaboration with and between school districts," the new report says.
ST. PAUL - Annette and Brian Swanson's son has been missing for almost a year, but on Thursday they paused from their search watch a ceremony designed to help other Minnesotans. The couple and their daughter, Jamine, unsuccessfully held back tears as Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a bill forcing law enforcement agencies to quickly act on reports of missing young adults. "This is a bittersweet moment for us," Annette Swanson said.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota's economic development programs fall victim to the state budget deficit. "We cut, we cut, we cut," Rep. Tom Rukavina, DFL-Virginia, said. "We can't create jobs when we are cutting, but we did the best that we could. ... I wish I had a lot better bill, but I had to cut." The Senate voted to cut economic development funding 38-28 Monday night. The House did the same on Tuesday, 74-57.
ST. PAUL - The House gave final passage to Brandon's Law, a bill requiring faster police response when young adults go missing. The measure passed 131-0 Tuesday, sending it to the governor, who is expected to sign it. Rep.