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 schools would be the biggest beneficiaries of a state House Democratic budget proposal that goes beyond the governor's plan to increase taxes on the rich. Minnesota House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, unveiled a budget outline Tuesday that accepts Democratic Gov.
Mayo Clinic's request for state money to help Rochester prepare for a major medical facilities expansion could be updated after its original proposal ran into difficulties, the Post Bulletin of Rochester reports. House Tax Chairwoman Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington, has concerns and asked the bill's sponsor, Democratic Rep. Kim Norton of Rochester, to come up with alternatives. "They are poised and ready to go," Norton said.
Cities across Minnesota agree on a new formula that would deliver a more predictable state aid to them. Coming together on a topic that usually divides urban, suburban, exurban, regional centers and rural communities comes at a time when Democrats in control of the governor's office, House and Senate want to increase Local Government Aid. The formula in a bill by Rep. Ben Lien, DFL-Moorhead, is simpler and city leaders say it gives them a better idea about how much aid to expect.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House will debate guns. The House public safety committee passed a watered-down gun regulation bill on a 10-8 vote Thursday night, with the House the next stop for the controversial issue. The bill contains several noncontroversial provisions to keep guns out of the hands of people who are not supposed to own them, but it also includes a contentious requirement that purchasers at gun shows must have background checks.
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.