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.
- Member for
- 4 years 1 month
ST. PAUL - Health-care reform due to come out of Washington this year looks a lot like what is happening in Minnesota, the state House health leader says. But Rep. Tom Huntley, DFL-Duluth, Thursday said he will watch Congress carefully as it tries to craft a health-care measure that has eluded federal policymakers for decades. In particular, Huntley wants to make sure federal legislation is flexible enough that Minnesota may continue with its own reforms.
ST. PAUL - Democrats claim Gov. Tim Pawlenty's plan to cut $2.7 billion from the state budget is illegal. Democratic legislative leaders Thursday told the Republican governor's commissioners that Pawlenty is overstepping his legal authority in balancing the budget by himself. "There is some shaky legal ground to do some of the changes you are doing," House Majority Leader Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm, said to Pawlenty's representatives. He called it abuse of state law. "This whole process just doesn't pass the smell test," Sen. David Tomassoni, DFL-Chisholm, said.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty would not need to cut budgets so deeply if he would listen to a state union's ideas, the organization's executive director says. Jim Monroe of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees said that his staff is looking into ways the state can save money. Although the effort is not done, the MAPE leader said, it is producing good prospects.
ST. PAUL - John Kline used to carry the "football" containing nuclear codes for President Ronald Reagan; now he will carry Republican ideals in the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee. The 28-member Republican Steering Committee Wednesday gave the Minnesota congressman the nod over Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington and Joe Wilson of South Carolina as top education and labor Republican. No vote totals were released. Issues in front of the committee are not those Kline ran on when he got into politics - armed services, intelligence and veterans' matters.
Most, but not all, politicians reacting to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's unallotment plans Tuesday did not like what they saw: "In just under an hour today, Gov.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced Minnesota's largest-ever budget cut Tuesday, reducing state aid to local governments, lowering health-care funding, trimming state college budgets and, in general, shrinking the size of state government. Pawlenty's cuts equal nearly $736 million, which along with a $1.8 billion delay in state payments to schools make up most of the $2.7 billion he needed to balance the state budget. Lawmakers a month ago passed, and Pawlenty signed, a budget that would have spent almost $33 billion in the next two years.
ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. - Minnesotans get frustrated enough with road construction and paying taxes that they should not have to put up with both when unnecessary, Sen. Amy Klobuchar says. The Minnesota Democrat and other U.S. senators are pushing a bill to require that when a state builds a road with federal money that broadband conduit be installed at the same time.
ST. PAUL - Today is when Gov.
ST. PAUL - The Twitter short-message electronic networking system is becoming popular among politicians, many of whom now send tweets. A recent message from House Majority Leader Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm, tweaked politicians who visit Iowa to get presidential support. "A MN politician in Iowa for all the right reasons ... visiting family," he wrote while seeing his wife's family. Then there was Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who may soon sent tweets from Iowa himself while running for president: "Wrenched back playing hockey. Thankful for chiropractor.
ST. PAUL - Next year's Minnesota Legislature should be interesting, given that many key lawmakers want to make the jump to governor - or at least are considering it. Rep. Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, opted to leave his job as minority leader even if he just "kicks the tires" for a gubernatorial run. He said it would not be fair to the 47 House Republicans if he were forced to split his time between leading them and running for governor. Another House leader soon may face the same situation, but pretty much no one expects her to step out of her high-profile role.