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
- 4 years 11 months
ST. PAUL—Dalton Fitch likes videos, no surprise for a 10-year-old boy. But for him, watching videos and using other technology is more than pleasure. As a youth who suffers from autism, technology is a way that Dalton can connect to the rest of the world. "He is extremely interested in anything visual," his mother, Kirsten Klang, said. "That is how he learns." However, Dalton usually cannot connect to the internet for videos and other online aids because the family lives in a northern Minnesota area without wired internet service.
ST. PAUL—Mark Sellner sat in Sarasota Springs, Fla., where it was 91 degrees and partly cloudy, with 56 percent humidity. There was a zero percent chance of state estate taxes. In Plymouth, Minn., which he left less than a year ago, the temperature at the same time was 74, with sunny skies and 30 percent humidity. There was a 100 percent chance hundreds of Minnesotans' estates will pay taxes.
ST. PAUL — A Minnesota trade delegation in Cuba says the country is hungry for American farm products, but obstacles must be overcome first. "Some things need to happen," Jim Zenk of the Minnesota Dry Bean Research and Promotional Council said from a sunny and humid Havana during a Thursday, June 22, conference call with reporters. President Harold Wolle Jr. of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and Zenk said that among the needs is a way for Cubans to get financial credit to buy American goods. Credit is not available.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota leaders hope a lease they are offering to a new mining company will reverse a decade of frustrating failure in one area they felt held lots of promise. Officials who feel they were burned by Essar Steel Minnesota, which did not fulfill state taconite mining requirements, then declared bankruptcy, on Monday, June 19, folded what they hope are iron-clad guarantees into a new mineral lease. They hope the new mining company will produce taconite and turn it into an in-demand iron product where Essar Steel failed for years.
PAUL — The Minnesota Legislature is preparing to sue the governor. A legislative committee plans a Friday, June 2, meeting to consider hiring a lawyer after Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed legislative funding for the next two years.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed a $46 billion, two-year state budget into law, except for one item: funding for the state Legislature. Dayton vetoed the Legislature's funding for the two years beginning July 1, which raised a many questions and created some confusion. Here are some questions and answers that may help clear up the issue: Does state government have a budget? Mostly. Dayton signed 10 bills that fund state government to the tune of $46 billion over the next two years. However, he vetoed about $130 million in funding for the Legislature.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota state government has a budget, other than for the Legislature. Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the Legislature's budget Tuesday, May 30, because of what he called "a reprehensible sneak attack, which shatters whatever trust we achieved during the session." The action was a line tucked into one of the budget bills Dayton signed Tuesday that stopped Revenue Department funding unless another bill cutting taxes became law. That "poison pill," Dayton said, was "snuck" into a bill funding many state programs that he did not feel he could veto.
PAUL — Minnesota counties have a right to pick who audits their books, the state Appeals Court says, and the state's highest court also will have an opportunity to weigh in. State Auditor Rebecca Otto says she will appeal the Tuesday, May 30, decision to the Supreme Court.
ST. PAUL -- The $46 billion question remains unanswered. Minnesota legislators finished passing a two-year state budget of that size early Friday, May 26, after nearly five months in regular session and more than three days in special session, but now those interested in state spending will wait until Tuesday to see if Gov. Mark Dayton signs them into law.
ST. PAUL -- A gentle harmonica concert by Rep. Bob Loonan did not provide quite enough calm late Thursday, May 25, as a relatively minor issue stalled the Minnesota Legislature's drive to finish passing the state budget. The second-term state lawmaker from Shakopee played his harmonica as lawmakers gathered for what they hoped was the third and last day of what was supposed to be a one-day session.