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 3 months
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.
ST. PAUL -- Legislative leaders cannot even agree on what they agreed to, so it is no surprise they can't agree on what happened. The argument continues, and likely will for a long time, about what happened in the final minutes of Sunday, May 22, as Minnesota lawmakers faced a midnight deadline to pass bills this year. Whatever happened, the failure to pass the last major bill of the legislative session left Minnesotans across the state short of $1 billion in transportation and other public works projects.
ST. PAUL -- The proposed $1.8 billion light rail project would be just 14.5 miles long, but a controversy surrounding it derailed what some say could have been more than 3,000 lane-miles of road work throughout Minnesota.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton is not confident that transportation funding legislation could pass if he calls a special legislative session to finish work not done by Sunday's midnight deadline. "I think it’s unrealistic to think they’re going to agree on something before or during a very short one-day special session, if there were one," Dayton told Minnesota Public Radio Tuesday. Transportation funding discussions started early in 2015 and legislation only emerged in the final hour of the 2016 session last weekend.
ST. PAUL — Perhaps library lobbyist Elaine Keefe put it best: "The 2016 legislative session has ended with very mixed results." After every Minnesota legislative session, there are winners and losers. But in the session that ended with the final bill passing just before midnight Sunday, there appears to be a bigger split than usual. And many an organization reported some items on its wish list passed and others failed.