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
- 5 years 9 months
ST. PAUL -- House Democrats today said they want to not only permanently raise income taxes on wealthy Minnesotans, but also add a temporary surcharge on the richest of the rich to repay schools. DFL leaders provided no details, but said the surcharge would bring in $854 million needed to repay schools money the state borrowed from them over recent years. House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said the surcharge would disappear in two years.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota senators approved 39-28 a health insurance marketplace along party lines this morning, leaving only Gov. Mark Dayton’s signature as the final step. Dayton is expected to sign the measure that would give Minnesotans a mostly Web-based place to buy health insurance, as required by federal law. If Minnesota does not establish its marketplace, also known as an exchange, the federal government will. Republicans opposed the marketplace in the Senate, as they did when the House approved it 72-61 early Friday.
ST. PAUL — Republicans call gay marriage a distraction from important duties legislators face, such as passing a state budget. On Thursday, Republican legislators packed a stage during a rally supporting traditional marriage between a man and a woman. About 1,000 people jammed the Minnesota Capitol, holding signs with slogans such as “marriage should be reinforced, not redefined.” President Brian Brown of the National Organization of Marriage energized the crowd in the rally’s keynote address.
ST. PAUL — It seemed as if pretty much no one liked Governor Mark Dayton’s proposal to tax business services, prompting him to overhaul a budget plan he presented six weeks ago. Details of his new budget idea were expected to be released earlier this week. Dayton on Friday told a TwinWest Chamber of Commerce meeting about his decision to dump the business tax, leaving those in the Capitol wondering what he might do to increase revenue he wants for programs such as education and economic development, as well as filling a budget deficit.
ST. PAUL -- Prosecutors should not be threatened, Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom says, and a bill Minnesota lawmakers are considering could help prevent that.
“They are so eager to learn,” the woman with a Bemidji child care service said. She could do a better job taking care of children, she told a Senate committee Monday, if she could work closer with other child care providers in a union. Trish Berger also loves her role as a child care provider. She told senators that many child care providers like her prefer their independence. “They don’t want to have to be regulated by a union,” the Esko child care provider said.
ST. PAUL — Many Minnesotans may be perfectly happy to see sex offenders tossed behind bars, with jailers throwing away the keys. However, a federal judge says the system Minnesota uses is so close to the throw-away-the-key philosophy that it violates the U.S. Constitution. He threatens to take action if Minnesota leaders do not fix the system.
ST. PAUL -- Gay advocates have lobbied for allow same-sex marriages for years, but they made little progress. That appears ready to change Tuesday when House and Senate committees will hear bills overturning a state law outlawing gay marriage. With heavy liberal Democratic membership on the two committees, the concept has the best chance to pass ever.
ST. PAUL — Republicans call gay marriage a distraction from important duties legislators face, such as passing a state budget.