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 — Here are some key areas of increased spending Gov. Mark Dayton wants in Minnesota's two-year budget that begins July 1: • $609 million for kindergarten-through-high school education programs. • $75 million to expand voluntary pre-kindergarten classes. • $84 million to expand access to child care and $61 million for child care tax credits • $318 million for Minnesota State and University of Minnesota systems for student financial aid and other needs. • $300 million in a variety of tax cuts to benefit 450,000 Minnesotans.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, who fainted Monday night during his State of the State speech, revealed Tuesday, Jan. 24, that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The Democratic governor said he will be travel to Rochester’s Mayo Clinic for assessment after his collapse Tuesday afternoon and be, separately, treated there for the prostate cancer in the coming weeks. Asked if he is up for the job of governor, the 69-year-old governor said: “I think I am.”
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Mark Dayton has a prescription for a new type of health insurance. Ironically, he was just getting into the issue during his Monday night, Jan. 23, State of the State speech when he encountered his own health issue. He collapsed 45 minutes into his speech; he walked out, but with assistance, after a few minutes and was reported doing well at home an hour later.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton collapsed during his State of the State speech Monday night, Jan. 23, but after a few minutes walked away with help. An hour later, he was playing a puzzle with his grandson at his official state residence. "He quickly recovered, walked out of the Capitol, and returned home," his chief of staff, Jaime Tincher, said an hour and a half after the incident. "EMTs joined the governor there, and performed a routine check. He is now spending time with his son and grandson."
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton delivers his annual State of the State speech Monday, Jan. 23, and is expected to emphasize the need to speed health insurance premium relief to Minnesotans. He also may provide a bit of a preview for a budget plan he will release the following day.
ST. PAUL — A state-federal program supported by groups ranging from conservationists to farmers is designed to improve Minnesota water quality by paying landowners to preserve 60,000 acres. The land in southern and western Minnesota would be marginal farmland, state Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson said. But if it is preserved, state officials said, it can be used to protect the state's water and improve wildlife habitat.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House Taxes Committee chairman is tired of dealing with Wisconsin about income taxes. So Chairman Greg Davids, R-Preston, drew up a provision he plans to insert into his tax bill this year that would reimburse Minnesotans who pay higher taxes working in Wisconsin than if they worked in Minnesota.
ST. PAUL -- Rural Minnesota may never have been mentioned so often in a state Senate debate not about a specific rural issue. Small towns and farmers were featured Thursday, Jan. 12, before senators passed 35-31 legislation to help Minnesotans afford individual health insurance policies. Rural residents like farmers tend to rely on individual policies more than do those living in cities.
ST. PAUL — Jose Sanchez says his immigrant community fears living without driver's licenses. "Our community needs licenses to get around, to get to work, to get to school," he told a Minnesota House committee Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. "I ask that you listen to us and deal with your heart," he pleaded before the Republican-controlled committee voted 8-6 along party lines to keep in a provision that would enact a law banning immigrants to the United States without legal documentation from getting a license.
ST. PAUL—A tweaked 2016 tax proposal that never made it into law is back. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said on Thursday, Jan. 5, that his plan calls for $230 million in a variety of tax cuts and $70 million in new spending for things such as increased state aid to local governments. It is based on a bill most legislators backed last year, but Dayton opted not to sign after a $101 million mistake was discovered in it.