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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Minnesota officials released maps showing landowners what water needs plant buffers around it, and how deep the buffers must be. The long-awaited release came Tuesday morning. State law requires that buffers be placed around all public waters to help prevent runoff from polluting streams and lakes. The maps show whether buffers must be an average of 50 feet wide or 16.5 feet. More than 90,000 miles along state waters must have the buffers, a program pushed by Gov. Mark Dayton. Landowners may propose other forms of water quality practices instead of buffers.
The Rev. Charles Gill predicted a war. That was Thursday. By Friday morning, commentators around the country had joined him. St. Paul's Pilgrim Baptist Church pastor on Thursday spoke to protesters upset over a St. Anthony police officer shooting a black motorist, apparently as he was trying to retrieve his driver's license as the officer requested.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton promised protesters gathered after a second black man was killed by Twin Cities police in a year that there will be a thorough...
Contractors handed the new Minnesota Vikings stadium over to the state Friday, six weeks earlier than planned. Construction of U.S. Bank Stadium is considered "substantially complete," so main contractor Mortenson Construction gave the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority a large key during the state board's June meeting. The symbolic handoff means all but some detail work is completed on the $1.1 billion stadium. Mortenson had planned to turn it over July 29.
The big question politicos discuss these days is how a Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump presidential race would affect races such as for the state Legislature. The answer, of course, is that nobody knows, especially given the fact that the two are pretty unpopular. On Minnesota Public Radio on Friday, House Speaker Kurt Daudt said Republican polling shows expected GOP nominee Trump leads Democratic candidate Clinton in rural Minnesota. So if Trump sweeps rural Minnesota, does that mean rural districts will follow for Republicans?
Minnesota legislators introduced 7,763 bills in the 2015-2016 legislative period, most of which went nowhere. Here is a look at some of the bills that passed or did not pass this year, including some still awaiting Gov. Mark Dayton's approval. Animal trusts: Minnesotans will be able to put money away in trusts so after they die there will be money to care for pets. Autocycles: Law allows operators of a new type of three-wheel motorcycle that drives like a car to only need a car driver's license, not one for motorcycles.
Minnesota drug overdose deaths have jumped four-fold since 2000, the Minnesota Health Department reported Friday as state legislators made attempts to slow the increase. Opioid pain relievers such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, morphine and codeine have become the drugs most associated with overdose deaths, the department said. Of 572 overdose deaths last year (compared to 129 in 2000), 216 were from opioids. More than half of the deaths were associated with prescription drugs rather than illegal street drugs.
House and Senate leaders are far apart about how much to spend on public works projects. Nearly $1 billion apart. Minnesota Democratic senators Monday unveiled a plan to borrow money for $1.5 billion for public works projects, things such as finishing the project of bringing water to southwestern Minnesota, fixing state buildings and constructing water treatment projects in small rural communities.
Minnesota lawmakers do more than legislate; they also sometimes ask people to investigate, and they want to see those reports. Such is the case in a couple of recent issues: a state worker who seemingly emailed opposition to a northern Minnesota oil pipeline and a Commerce Department official accused of improperly ordering destruction of documents.
Warning bells figuratively clanged Friday when a Minnesota state Senate committee held its first hearing on new legislation to force railroads to release more information about hazardous materials they haul. Even some Republicans who generally support railroads warned that railroads need to work better with public safety officials.