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.
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ST. PAUL -- Turnout in Tuesday's Minnesota primary election likely will be spotty, as there are relatively few contests this year. The only statewide race will pare three Supreme Court candidates down to two, although six U.S. House primary races are on the ballot along with contests for 28 of the 201 legislative seats. Statewide officials such as governor and attorney general are not up for election in 2016. And neither U.S. senator is on the ballot.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota taxpayers will fund free pre-kindergarten for 3,302 4-year-olds this fall, a far cry from what Gov. Mark Dayton would like. Dayton and state education officials on...
ST. PAUL -- Local government officials across Minnesota need to know if a special legislative session will be called to pass a tax bill. They are nearing a deadline to plan for money the bill would provide them, but Friday is the earliest state leaders will meet about the issue.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. -- The numbers needed to describe video boards in the new U.S. Bank Stadium are impressive: The biggest scoreboard, for instance, is 68 feet tall and 120 feet wide. More than 19 light emitting diode displays are in or just outside the stadium, providing nearly 31,000 square feet of video boards. But Amy Barnes, and nearly 200 others who built the video boards in Redwood Falls, summarize all of those figures into one easy-to-understand word: pride.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans may be the best at turning out for general elections, but they have voted in shrinking numbers in primary elections. And there is not much on the Aug. 9 primary ballot to drive those numbers higher. That is too bad, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said. "A primary election, obviously, determines which candidates are going to appear on a general election ballot," Simon said.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's minimum wage rises August 1 and several new laws will hit the books. The state's large employers must pay at least $9.50 an hour, while smaller businesses will be required to pay $7.75. Training and youth wages also must be at least $7.75. In 2018, Minnesota minimum wages begin rising annually to match inflation.
ST. PAUL -- A special Minnesota legislative session to approve tax cuts, transportation projects and public works construction could happen in a month, but the governor and key legislators are not quite ready to promise that. After meeting two hours in private, Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton; Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, D-Cook; and House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said they are near a deal to finish work that lawmakers failed to accomplish before their mandatory late-May adjournment date.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota farmers may not need to install as many mandated buffer strips as originally thought, but it still will cost millions of dollars to comply with a new state law. After announcing Tuesday that a new map is available showing where buffers are required, Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr quoted a new Otter Tail County study that showed just 1,000 acres of land will need to be transformed into buffers to slow water pollution.
ST. PAUL -- Protesters remained in front of the Minnesota governor's residence Friday morning, continuing a vigil that began hours after a police officer shot and killed a 32-year-old black man in a Twin Cities suburb. While that gathering was peaceful, St. Paul police reported that early Friday some people left the Summit Avenue site and went a block to Grand Avenue, where they broke windows in an unoccupied police car and damaged a business window.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton promised protesters gathered after a second black man was killed by Twin Cities police in a year that there will be a thorough investigation. "Justice will be served in Minnesota," he told hundreds of people gathered outside his official St. Paul home Thursday morning in the aftermath of a shooting of a 32-year-old black man by police 12 hours earlier.