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
- 3 years 10 months
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.
ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Senate and House needed little time to approve a $4.3 billion transportation funding compromise. The Monday votes keep transportation just below current spending, and do not cut State Patrol operations. The House approved the measure 103-30; senators followed with a 63-4 tally House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, said he expects Gov. Tim Pawlenty to sign the measure. "This transportation bill squarely addresses the difficult economic times we are facing in Minnesota," said Rep. Bernie Lieder, DFL-Crookston, House transportation finance chairman.
ST. PAUL - An attempt to lift a nuclear power plant construction moratorium fizzled Thursday in the Minnesota House. On a 72-60 vote, representatives voted to keep the 15-year-old moratorium in place. Earlier this year, senators opted to end the moratorium, so the subject remains alive at the Capitol. "Our future lies with renewable resources," Rep. Bill Hilty, DFL-Finlayson, said. "Renewable energy is a resource that we have in this state." But Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota would allow mini-trucks to travel on some county roads, but prohibit drinking in state rest areas under a catch-all transportation bill representatives passed 115-17 Tuesday. Transportation issues not requiring money were folded into the measure, including a proposal by Rep. Brita Sailer, DFL-Park Rapids, to allow farmers and others to drive small trucks on roads in counties that approve. Only county roads could be used. "I'm a little disappointed we are not going far enough with this," Rep.
ST. PAUL - If Tuesday paints a picture of how the 2009 legislative session will end, it won't be pretty. An exchange between legislative leaders and a key Pawlenty administration official Tuesday morning was as tense of an exchange as seen in the Capitol this year.