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
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“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.
ST. PAUL — Scammers who convince older Minnesotans to send money to people they think they are helping are targeted by a new bill. These scams continue to be a growing problem and we need to do all that we can to combat them,” said Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights. “This legislation is a great step forward and while it’s simple, it will make a huge difference in preventing these types of scams.” Atkins and Sen. Terri Bonoff, DFL-Minnetonka, wrote the bill to protect senior citizens from what is known as wire fraud.
Minnesotans must loudly demand that lawmakers approve Sunday alcohol sales if the proposal has a chance to pass, its Senate sponsor says. Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth, said the House is not going to consider a Sunday sales bill this year, so he will not pursue it unless the public raises a ruckus about the issue. “I’m to the edge of my ability to do something,” the senator said.
ST. PAUL - The Minnesota House will decide today whether to send a nearly $500 million public works borrowing bill to the governor or continue work on it. On Monday, the House and Senate passed slightly different versions of the bill, which would allow state funds to go toward colleges, roads, bridges, flood prevention and the state Capitol building, among other needs throughout the state. The Senate, which approved the bill 45-22, shifted some money to allow for funding new projects during its Monday debate.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota legislators are on call to vote on flood-relief funding Monday, but it remains unclear whether communities affected by a June 17 tornado outbreak - including Wadena - also can expect help. Even the flood action is tentative, depending on whether the federal government declares southern Minnesota a disaster area yet this week. Flooding brought on by record and near-record rainfalls began on Sept. 22 across southern Minnesota, especially the southeast.
News that Minnesota cities and counties will receive full state aid checks later this month appropriately came on a day when many were sending out snowplows and all were dealing with bitter cold weather as the season's first major storm whipped through the state. Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced on Tuesday that he will not reduce or eliminate December state payments to local governments.
The bright spot for the Minnesota economy next year may be when the federal government hires more than 8,000 workers to conduct an every-10-year-census. State Economist Tom Stinson did not paint a pretty picture for the economy when he and other state officials Wednesday released a report about how the economy affects the state budget. "The recovery will be long, slow and bumpy," Management and Budget Commissioner Tom Hanson said. The report prepared by Stinson, Hanson and the state's financial consultant predicted that more people will lose jobs until at least early spring.