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
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ST. PAUL -- Politics and government may not be as foreign to Minnesota high school students as some adults think. That is especially true for students such as those from Cannon Falls High School who competed on Monday in a statewide contest testing their knowledge about the U.S. Constitution and the law. For instance, seven Cannon Falls students -- competing in the state Capitol as part of a larger school team -- answered questions about how to use modern technology in a democracy.
ST. PAUL -- Mayors, unemployed union members, transportation advocates and Democratic leaders all want a special legislative session to infuse money into a slumping Minnesota economy, but Gov. Tim Pawlenty says "no." Supporters of a special session say vetoed bills, especially one designed to reform property taxes, would provide money for thousands of construction jobs and increase state aid to local governments.
ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Legislature is not in session this time of year, but the House convened more than 60 committee meetings last month, compared to three in October two years ago. Republicans say that is a bloated and expensive schedule, threatening to end the tradition of citizen-legislators. Democrats say the heavy meeting load helps lawmakers hear concerns of Minnesotans, especially those in rural areas who seldom can drive to St.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota deer hunters could give more than a quarter million pounds of meat to the state's needy this fall. It is part of a new program to provide venison to people using food shelves around the state. "It is safe to say any time you can add a quarter a million pounds of meat ... you are giving the system a huge jolt of highly nutritious food," said Newell Searle, a Second Harvest Heartland vice president. "It is a huge donation." To put it in perspective, the St.
ST. PAUL - Deer hunters should learn that being first does not mean being successful, the head of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association says. Mark Johnson looked to Saturday's firearms deer hunting opener with the advice that it would be better to prowl the fields or sit in deer stands between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. rather than the traditional get-out-there-before-sunrise timing. "That is when there are an awful lot of the big bucks shot," he said. Each year, just 35 percent to 40 percent of hunters actually land a deer, Johnson said.
ST. PAUL - Here is a list of meat processors and their locations where hunters can deliver deer. The venison will be given to needy Minnesotans: Arlington, Arlington Market Backus, Backus Locker LLC Baxter, Von Hansons Meats of Baxter Bemidji, Bemidji Locker and Fish Big Fork, Kocian's Family Market Carlos, K & N Meats Inc. dba Klinder Processing Chatfield, R Four Meats Chisago City, Chisago Meats Inc. Circle Pines, Circle Pine Sausage Haus Clear Lake, McDonald's Meats, Inc.
ST. PAUL -- Taxpayers in one Minnesota county alone could pay an additional $3 million because a 2006 U.S. Supreme Court decision added red tape to many construction projects. No one has taken time to tally the total cost of the ruling that is delaying construction of all kinds, ranging from constructing new homes to laying pipelines to building docks to putting poles in the ground.
ST. PAUL -- Dru Sjodin's family received $300,000 from Minnesota taxpayers to compensate for the college student's death, but they say that even more important are stronger laws dealing with sex offenders like the one who killed her. In a legal settlement that came to light this week, the state agreed to pay Sjodin's relatives $300,000, but admitted no wrongdoing in releasing Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. from state prison.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Department of Transportation intentionally withheld bridge construction documents from a House committee, its chairman says, and he is ready to issue rare subpoenas to obtain them if state officials don't give him the paperwork within a month. The subpoena threat came Thursday as the House Commerce Committee investigated lengthy delays in finishing the second half of a Mississippi River bridge connecting Dakota and Washington counties. Lt. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Look for virtual "welcome" signs in Minnesota's northern forests. "Rather than having a series of private landowners put up 'no trespassing' signs, we are putting up 'welcome' signs for Minnesota citizens to enjoy the great outdoors," Gov.