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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A rural Minnesota high school for students addicted to alcohol or drugs needs state help to continue, Sen. Steve Dille told legislators Friday. The Libre Academy in Litchfield needs $60,000 to get through the school year, Dille told the Senate Finance Committee as it debated an education funding bill. "They're basically short of money," Dille, R-Dassel, said in asking for $25,000 for Libre Academy.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota senators voted to increase higher education spending Thursday, but complained it was not enough to prevent tuition increases or to launch any significant new programs. The measure ups spending $296 million for the next two years, leaving a higher education budget of $3.1 billion. "Personally I am very dissatisfied with it," Higher Education Chairwoman Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, said. "All we could do is fund a status quo budget." It is a comment expected on the Senate floor often through April 2, when senators are supposed to have their spending bills finished.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota leaders want to know if South Dakota actions - or inactions - 20 years ago contributed to last week's Browns Valley flood. Attorney General Lori Swanson's spokesman said that office will investigate questions Gov.
ST. PAUL - Two waitresses illustrate Minnesotans' differences over a statewide smoking ban plan advancing through the Minnesota Legislature. "I believe that all of us in the state of Minnesota - workers, businesses and public - ultimately are going to win on this issue," Duluth's Joan Linski said if the smoking ban passes, as it appears it will. That is not how Bierstube worker Mary Yoswa of Hastings sees the matter.
ST. PAUL -- Roger Urban thought he was stupid upon discovering he failed to file for a property tax refund. Then he found out there are 350,000 Minnesotans like him because they also did not know about the refund.
ST. PAUL - Senators gutted a meat packer employee bill of rights proposal in a Monday committee meeting faster than an experienced packer can gut a cow. But another Senate committee could put many of the details back in. Sen. James Metzen, DFL-South St.
ST. PAUL - State lawmakers should approve flood aid for western Minnesota's Browns Valley, Gov. Tim Pawlenty wrote to legislative leaders Monday. Pawlenty gave legislators a seven-point plan to help the community.
ST. PAUL - Two western Minnesota legislators may not be as close as they once were after an indirect heated exchange the past few days. It started when House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, wrote a column decrying a series of tax increases that would total $4 billion Democrats propose. It escalated when Rep.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota Democratic legislative leaders thought relations with Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty were going well. Then he told a Minnesota Chamber of Commerce audience: "You don't celebrate getting out of Weight Watchers by going over to the all-you-can-eat buffet. So our message to the Legislature is: 'Push away from the table. Put your fork down.'" Assistant Senate Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, was not laughing.