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
- 5 years 4 months
ST. PAUL -- The recession means local governments have less money available to spend, but some Minnesota lawmakers say reducing things the state requires local officials to do can save money. "Now is the time to provide some relief," Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, said. A House local government committee Monday night approved a Lanning bill that would eliminate holding an annual truth in taxation hearing and allow counties to adopt four-day workweeks.
ST. PAUL - Rural lawmakers with resorts in their areas defeated an attempt to allow school districts to start classes before Labor Day. The bill failed in a Monday 13-11 House Finance Committee vote, but like most Minnesota legislative bills it still could come back to life. "This isn't the right time to do it," Rep. Tom Rukavina, DFL-Virginia, said, adding the economy already is hurting many small, rural businesses. "We don't need to lose any more businesses." Rukavina, who has no resorts in his district, said the move would have a devastating effect in rural areas. The bill by Rep.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Supreme Court Friday rejected Al Franken's demand to immediately become a U.S. senator. In January, Franken asked the high court to order Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to sign an election certificate so he could take office, even while a lawsuit by Norm Coleman was pending.
ST. PAUL - Al Franken wants 60 rejected St. Louis County absentee ballots added to November's election tally even though dates on related paperwork do not match. St. Louis County took the trial spotlight Thursday while behind the scenes the Franken campaign sought to have Norm Coleman's U.S. Senate election challenge thrown out of court The county's election chief, Paul Tynjala, and Duluth City Clerk Jeff Cox spent much of the day on the witness stand saying that most of the 60 disputed absentee ballots should be counted.
ST. PAUL - Non-profit organizations, county assessors and the state have crafted a compromise that could allow charities to continue being exempt from property taxes. If the bill heard for the first time Wednesday becomes law, more than 4,000 properties owned by 1,700 non-profit organizations could avoid paying property taxes.
ST. PAUL - Federal money may have saved Minnesota's budget this year, and will help the next two-year spending cycle, but state leaders warn that economic problems are far from over. Economic stimulus funds approved last month by Congress and President Barack Obama lowered Minnesota's projected 2010-2011 budget deficit from $4.8 billion to $4.6 billion.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota's economy appears to be mirroring the national one, with employment expected to near 10 percent. "We think it is going to be a slow recovery," Minnesota State Economist Tom Stinson said Tuesday, with the state not fully recovered until 2012. Stinson said the recession will cost 120,000 Minnesota jobs through next year. As part of a twice yearly report released Tuesday, Stinson said only one segment of the Minnesota economy is doing well - health care.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota budget writers are thanking Washington today as finance officials announce the state deficit actually dropped from what was expected - thanks to an economic stimulus package. The deficit now is expected to be $4.57 billion in the two years beginning July 1 - out of a $33 billion budget - instead of the previously predicted $4.85 billion. Without the federally approved economic recovery money, however, the deficit would be $6.4 billion, according to budget documents leaked to reporters before this morning's official announcement. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Cities across Minnesota launched a public relations campaign to save state aid they receive, saying proposed budget cuts would cost police, fire and library jobs. Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who wants to reduce those payments, says that cities could save some of those jobs by firing their lobbyists, such as those who organized the Web site. The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities -- which includes Red Wing, Cannon Falls and Kenyon -- and St.
ST. PAUL - Cities across Minnesota launched a public relations campaign to save state aid they receive, saying proposed budget cuts would cost police, fire and library jobs. Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who wants to reduce those payments, says that cities could save some of those jobs by firing their lobbyists, such as those who organized the Web site. The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities - which includes Red Wing, Cannon Falls and Kenyon -- and St.