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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Put yourself in a politician's shoes: There is no way you would want to cast a vote to release sex offenders from a prison-like facility. But if a federal judge ordered you to do it, that could be a different story. Someone else is to blame. U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank, a former St. Louis County prosecutor who has dealt with sex offender cases, gave politicians a scapegoat and way out of a constitutional conflict when he handed down a ruling saying the Minnesota Sex Offender Program violates the U.S.
Proposals by some insurers for large health insurance premium increases upset key politicians. "The proposed rate increases from Minnesota's health insurers are outrageous, given that our state's health care costs have been increasing by only 3 percent," Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton said. "They underscore the need for a rigorous review of those proposed rates by the Minnesota Department of Commerce before they become final on Oct. 1." Rep.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has vetoed legislation funding state programs ranging from education to the parks, setting up a special legislative session and launching preparations for a potential partial government shutdown. On Saturday, Dayton vetoed spending bills for agriculture, environment, jobs, economic development and energy.
The Minnesota Legislature ended early Tuesday amid shouts of "crooks" and "shameful," with plenty of confusion mixed in, as lawmakers failed to finish everything they wanted to do in 2015. A special legislative session is expected after Gov. Mark Dayton's promised veto of an education funding bill. Lawmakers passed all the must-do spending bills for a $42 billion, two-year budget, but did not complete a public works funding bill or legislation to fund outdoors and arts projects. Legislative leaders declared the session, which began Jan.
Water quality varies from good in northeastern Minnesota, where plenty of plants borders waters, to poor in the southwest, with its heavy concentration of agriculture, a new state report says...
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton declared a state of emergency as 2.6 million turkeys have died because of avian influenza since early last month. The action came Thursday with the number...
Minnesota state legislators are taking a break from legislating for an Easter-Passover recess. The 201 lawmakers have finished a dozen weeks of their year's work, with six remaining when they return to St. Paul on April 7. With the break, it seems like a good opportunity to answer some questions about the time legislators have remaining to complete their work for the year. With just six weeks left in the legislative session, is there much left to be done? Oh, yes. Lots.
The Minnesota House soon may be homeless. The Senate likewise. The state Capitol's multi-year renovation project is putting the crimp on many state officials and others who surround them. Two-thirds of the Capitol is closed, with all but tunnels through the basement due to close soon after the Legislature adjourns for the year on May 18. In early June, if all goes well, Democratic senators and their staff members who have Capitol offices will be relocated down the street to a downtown St. Paul building, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, D-Cook, said.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton proposed hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending for education and families last week, leaving some senior citizens' advocates disappointed with what they said is a too-small increase. The governor's $866 million proposed budget increase would freeze tuition at state colleges and universities, start a new universal state-funded prekindergarten program and give more than $160 million to lower-income families.
ST. PAUL -- The 2,790 Wadena County residents who live near railroad tracks carrying North Dakota crude oil should be prepared for a train accident, a state emergency management official says. "If you live by the train, people need to take some personal awareness of what's around them," Kevin Reed of the Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management department said.