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 lawmakers put Mayo Clinic leaders on the hot seat Wednesday, a day after the world-famous medical center's leader said 49 other states would love to be its home. Rep. John Lesch, DFL-St. Paul, said he was not happy to see Mayo President Dr. John Noseworthy go to the National Press Club Tuesday "and wag his finger at the Minnesota Legislature." Lesch said his support for the plan fell after Noseworthy's comments.
ST. PAUL -- Communities across Minnesota should pressure lawmakers to support a public works funding bill, its House sponsor says. "I think those local communities absolutely have a vested interest in this bill," Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St.
ST. PAUL -- Two Minnesota lawmakers are offering legislation to prevent Sanford Health from controlling University of Minnesota hospitals. Sanford, headquartered in South Dakota and North Dakota, is looking at taking over Fairview Health Services, which operates the university hospital system. "If we need to pass legislation to protect our University of Minnesota hospitals, then that is absolutely what we should do," Rep. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park, said Monday.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton says 21,000 people would get jobs if the Legislature funds his $750 million public works project proposal. The Democratic governor said he emphasized projects that are ready to begin. They would be funded by the state selling bonds. The biggest Dayton project is $109 million to begin a major Capitol building renovation project.
ST. PAUL -- Almost 1 million Minnesotans would receive larger property tax refunds, or their first refunds, under a House Democratic proposal. Rep. Jim Davnie, DFL-Minneapolis, said the House plan would establish the homestead credit refund, spending $250 million to replace existing homeowner tax refunds and expand a renters' refund.
ST. PAUL -- Civil unions would give gay couples the same rights as married couples, says the sponsor of a Minnesota House proposal that is a step short of full marriage. "Government's role is to protect the individual," Rep.
BISMARCK, N.D. -- Award-winning author and Wahpeton native Louise Erdrich was named the 39th recipient of the North Dakota Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award, the state's highest commendation. Gov. Jack Dalrymple will present Erdrich with the award April 19. Erdrich is the author of 14 novels, as well as volumes of poetry, children's books and a memoir of early motherhood. Her 1984 novel "Love Medicine" won the National Book Critics Circle Award. "The Last Report on Miracles at Little No Horse" was a finalist for the National Book Award.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Legislature is famous for deciding major issues near the end of each year's session. Expect 2013 to be no different. So far, Gov. Mark Dayton has signed just one major bill into law, and eight minor ones, out of 3,172 that the 201 lawmakers have introduced. That means there will be a lot of public and private debate by the Legislature's constitutionally mandated May 20 adjournment date. "The budget will be the big push," said Sen.
MOORHEAD, Minn. -- Frank Orton made sure Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton understands problems he faces in competing against North Dakota stores. "Minnesota must not adopt a tax policy that makes our businesses unable to compete," Orton wrote in a letter to Dayton in connection with a Monday night Moorhead town hall meeting. "At times those of us on the Minnesota-North Dakota (line) feel like we are playing with the deck completely stacked against us.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans will be able to shop for health insurance through a state marketplace beginning Oct. 1, but may not see savings for a couple of years. Minutes after Gov. Mark Dayton Wednesday signed a bill into law establishing the marketplace, to be known as MNsure, he said that it eventually will save Minnesotans money, but not until 2015 or later. Many cost savings will come from a shift in how Minnesotans get health care, the governor said.