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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The House unanimously approved a bill aiding cattle farmers in an area of northwestern Minnesota where cattle are infected with bovine tuberculosis. The bill establishes a zone in the area where 11 cattle herds have been affected by TB. It also authorizes a $500-per-animal state payment for cattle within that zone.
ST PAUL - Iron Range lawmakers and Gov. Tim Pawlenty have reached a compromise to fund a miners' cancer deaths study. Pawlenty could sign a bill next week appropriating $4.9 million so the University of Minnesota can study why 58 people connected to Iron Range mines have died of mesothelioma. The compromise allows the state to use a different fund than originally proposed, a fund acceptable to Pawlenty. "Gov.
ST. PAUL - A mega-airline could be a mega-problem or a mega-opportunity for the Upper Midwest. It all depends upon who analyzes a planned merger that would create the world's largest airline. "Fewer flights, more expensive flights, more expensive airplanes and more stops in between." That is the summary of a planned Northwest Airlines-Delta Air Lines merger by Alfie Marcus, professor of strategic management and organization at the University of Minnesota.
ST. PAUL - House Majority Leader Tony Sertich says Gov. Tim Pawlenty erased $1.5 million in state construction projects from his district as revenge for comments he made about the Republican governor. The Chisholm Democrat told reporters Friday that on March 14 a Pawlenty staff member called with what he said was a message from the governor: "I have a hockey analogy for you. Cheap shots are cheap, but they are not free." Sertich said the staffer went on to say that Pawlenty threatened to veto projects in Sertich's northeastern Minnesota district.
ST. PAUL - Capital city legislators, the St. Paul mayor and other leaders mounted a campaign against Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty in recent days, hoping that blasting him will somehow convince him to accept a second public works funding bill that restores some of their projects he vetoed. One Web news headline explained how St. Paul leaders felt: "Pawlenty to St. Paul: Drop Dead." Pawlenty removed St. Paul-related projects from the construction bill, such as a passenger rail connection between St.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota state budget writers received some good news Thursday, as a House-Senate conference committee looked at ways to plug a $935 million deficit. A state Finance Department report showed 4.5 percent revenue growth in February and March, with only the sales tax dropping from earlier projections. The department drew no conclusions about how the revenue numbers would affect the budget.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota state representatives voted 88-45 Thursday to fund an Iron Range cancer study, but Gov. Tim Pawlenty threatens to veto the bill because it would take money from a fund filled by most Minnesota businesses. Taking money from a workers' compensation fund, as Rep.
ST. PAUL - Smokers and obese Minnesotans would be targeted for health-improvement programs, soaring health-care costs could slow a bit and thousands more Minnesotans would be added to public programs. Those are among provisions in a controversial health-care reform bill state representatives approved 83-50 Thursday night after more than seven hours of debate. It and a more extensive bill senators earlier passed face a questionable future because Gov.
ST. PAUL - More than 10,000 seriously ill Minnesotans could control pain with marijuana legally if a bill headed to the full House becomes law. The House Ways and Means Committee voted 13-4, with 12 members absent, Wednesday to advance the measure. But Gov. Tim Pawlenty is likely to veto it if the House passes the measure. "Gov. Pawlenty stands with law enforcement in opposition to this bill," Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung said. Even if the bill faces a veto, sponsor Rep.
Senators offered preliminary backing Monday for a bill banning the use of computer software to interfere with concert and event ticket sales. Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, said the measure attempts to prevent an occurrence similar to what happened at a recent Hannah Montana pop music concert in Minneapolis, when brokers used software to buy tickets before the general public. The bill makes that a misdemeanor. It would prevent brokers from being able to "scarf up all the tickets within minutes of them going on sale online," Latz said.