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 2 months
ST. PAUL -- The most positive description of a high-level Wednesday meeting to set up a Minnesota special legislative session was that it "it was not as productive as I would have liked." Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, D-Cook, also said that "the tone of the speaker's voice" was better than in previous meetings, even though no one could point to any progress made Wednesday.
ST. PAUL -- Transportation funding appears to remain the main hurdle to a special legislative session to fund Minnesota public works projects and fix a tax bill. A meeting of House and Senate public works negotiators Tuesday failed to produce any sign they are closer to agreement than when their regular session ended last month.
ST. PAUL -- A federal appeals court says Jesse Ventura is not entitled to $1.8 million a lower court awarded him over the recounting of a bar fight the former Minnesota governor said never happened. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday reversed part of the judgment of a St. Paul-based federal court and sent the second part of the case back for a new trial. The case was based on a fight scene reported in Chris Kyle's best-selling book "American Sniper" in which Ventura was later identified as starting a bar fight.
ST. PAUL -- A Vermont law could kill western Minnesota's sugar beet industry, a farmer warns. "It probably would wreck the Red River Valley," President Karolyn Zurn of Minnesota Agriwomen told reporters on a Friday conference call. The unusual connection between a Vermont lawmaker and Minnesota farmers comes over one of the most controversial things in agriculture today: genetically modified crops. Specifically, the law requires most foods with ingredients from modified crops to show that on the label.
ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Mayo Clinic is more than doubling its research space, the first major step in a $6.5 billion plan to increase its Rochester presence. The overall plan, known as Destination Medical Center, would add 30,000 jobs to world-famous Mayo and double Rochester's 100,000 population. "Just thrilling," Gov. Mark Dayton said about the announcement.
ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Gov. Mark Dayton may not be up for election in November, but he is campaigning this week. The Democratic governor launched a three-day statewide tour Wednesday to sell Minnesotans on the need for a public works finance bill. He emphasized higher education facility needs at his first stop, Rochester Community and Technical College, and will do the same much of the rest of the week.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's political leaders say they have a problem trusting each other, but on Tuesday they pledged to continue trying to pass failed tax and public works legislation. "We all have trust issues with one another," Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton said. House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, agreed, adding: "I think the governor hasn't really kept his word. ... The governor has done and said some things that he went back on in the last week."
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday morning expressed hope that he would be able to call a special legislative session to finish work Minnesota lawmakers failed to accomplish as their regular session ended last month, but used words like "discouraged" more than optimistic comments when talking to reporters. "This is why I get discouraged about the possibility of a special session: We can't agree on anything," the Democratic governor said about his relationship with the Republican House majority.
ST. PAUL -- Legislation that could give tax breaks to a majority of Minnesotans appeared to be on a slow-motion slide to its death Monday, perhaps taking with it any chance for transportation and other public works project funding. The tax bill would have provided $800 million in tax cuts over three years to people as varied as farmers, veterans, parents and students, but was held up by a one-word mistake that could cost the state $101 million.
ST. PAUL -- A pension bill and parts of an outdoor-program funding bill received governor vetoes Tuesday. The pension bill would have cut payments to retired government workers, which Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton said he found unacceptable. He said that government employers and current employees should be responsible for paying into the pension fund, something he said that he will demand during the 2017 legislative session.