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 -- Minnesota senators approved 39-28 a health insurance marketplace along party lines Monday, leaving only Gov. Mark Dayton's signature as the final step. Dayton is expected to sign the measure that would give Minnesotans a mostly Web-based place to buy health insurance, as required by federal law. If Minnesota does not establish its marketplace, also known as an exchange, the federal government will. Republicans opposed the marketplace in the Senate, as well as when the House approved it 72-61 early Friday. Bill author Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Janet Thompson was being treated for terminal lung cancer, but her thoughts were about others. She lobbied people she saw to check their homes for radon, a colorless and odorless radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. Now, her sister has taken up the cause. Lori Thompson-Garry told a House committee Wednesday that she backs a bill that would require a radon test when a house goes on the market. "Lung cancer is very silent," said Thompson-Garry of Eagan.
ST. PAUL -- It seemed as if pretty much no one liked Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans either will get a better deal on health insurance or they will face problems if the Legislature and governor agree on a new way for 1.3 million Minnesotans to buy health insurance. That is how the debate boils down about a bill the Democrat-controlled House Monday night approved 72-58 over Republican protests. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators expressed sticker shock Tuesday when they learned the state's Mayo Clinic expansion proposal would cost more than they thought. It could be $1 billion more than Mayo supporters had said. The Rochester-based health center known around the world asked the Legislature and Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's resorts, government and residents would benefit from a larger tourism marketing effort, supporters of a bill to double its state support told a House committee. Rep. John Ward, DFL-Baxter, told the House Commerce Committee on Tuesday that his plan to spend more than $16 million in each of the next two years on tourism would attract more visitors and their money. "There are few ways government generates revenue and jobs," Ward said.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans may not know what the word means, but starting Friday they began to feel the impact of automatic and deep federal budget cuts known as "sequestration." No one knows for sure how Minnesotans will be affected, but there is widespread agreement it will be felt. U.S. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota judges for years told the public that justice delayed is justice denied, and budget cuts delay justice. Budget struggles eased two years ago and now court officials seek a budget bump to raise judges and staff members' pay. "Our priority last (legislative budget) session was to stop the bleeding," Chief Justice Lorie Gildea said in an interview. "So this session, our priority is our people," she added.
ST. PAUL -- New silica sand mines would be prohibited from opening for a year under a bill a state Senate committee approved Tuesday. Besides a moratorium, the bill would require a study on the environmental impact of sand mines, establish a board to deal with the issue and levy taxes that would go to state and local governments. The 8-4 vote in favor of the bill by Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans fighting Asian carp think they may have temporary and permanent ways to slow the advance of the voracious eater. Organizations at a Wednesday Asian carp summit hosted by Gov. Mark Dayton and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar agreed they would try to convince boaters to stop using a Mississippi River lock in Minneapolis so it can remain closed and act as a barrier to fish that can eat so much food that they push out native species.