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 4 months
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.
ST. PAUL -- 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.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers have less than three days to pass major bills involving transportation, public works projects, tax cuts and budget changes, but today began with no signs of agreements on big issues even as most players expressed optimism. Case in point: Public works funding negotiators gathered in the morning, but did nothing other than introduce themselves to one another.
ST. PAUL -- Two failures may equal success. The Minnesota House and Senate failed to pass their public works funding bills, but in the three days lawmakers have left this year, major legislative players expect those defeated bills to be merged into one that funds rail safety, college building repairs, flood prevention and other projects around Minnesota. Optimism abounded in St. Paul on Thursday, even as there were few high-level talks to solve remaining legislative issues such as budget changes, transportation funding and tax cuts.
ST. PAUL -- Four days remain in the 2016 Minnesota legislative session and even those in charge do not seem to know how, or whether, they will finish major legislation dealing with transportation, taxes, budget and public works. Gov. Mark Dayton hosted House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk for 15 minutes of negotiations Wednesday, the only high-level talks of the day. The three noted no progress when they emerged from the governor's residence.
ST. PAUL -- Paul Torkelson needs to come up with quite a sales pitch. As chairman of the Minnesota House committee that recommends funding for public works projects, he needs to both attract reluctant fellow Republicans, some of whom never have voted for such a bill, and Democrats who say they were left out of the legislation drafting process. The public works bill, to be funded by the state selling bonds, gained no Democratic votes when it passed out of two GOP-controlled committees Wednesday.
ST. PAUL -- At least they are talking. State leaders expanded budget talks Tuesday to deal with major money issues remaining before the Minnesota Legislature adjourns Monday. Talks had focused on transportation funding, but facing the adjournment deadline negotiators began to also discuss public works funding, tax cuts and budget changes. Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders met behind closed doors Tuesday afternoon and night.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans likely will pay higher vehicle license fees if the governor and lawmakers reach a transportation funding deal this year. Passing a funding bill is a big "if" after Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton Monday offered two transportation funding plans that he called compromises, both with higher tab fees and both rejected by the Legislature's top Republican as being too heavy on taxes. One of his plans dropped a proposed 16-cent-a-gallon gasoline tax increase to a nickel and the other eliminated a new gas tax.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans likely will pay higher vehicle license fees if the governor and lawmakers reach a transportation funding deal this year. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton Monday offered two transportation funding plans that he called compromises, and both contained higher tab fees. Senate Democrats already have included that in their plan and the House transportation chairman has said that raising tab fees is possible.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans who forget to buy booze will remain out of luck on Sundays after the state House Thursday rejected a proposal to allow liquor stores to be open seven days a week. The proposal failed 70-57 as an amendment to a small bill with other liquor-related provisions that unanimously passed. The major argument against Sunday sales was that it would hurt small liquor stores. Opponents say it would force them to remain open seven days if they are to remain competitive.