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
- 3 years 11 months
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's Democratic-led Legislature is ready to send Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty a public works funding bill he has indicated he doesn't like, setting the stage for a possible veto. Legislative leaders plan votes in the full House and Senate today on borrowing $925 million for state construction projects -- $100 million more than Pawlenty wants.
ST. PAUL -- Size matters. At least it does when it comes to a public works projects funding bill. Key lawmakers and Gov. Tim Pawlenty discussed the issue Thursday, barely touching specific projects, Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, said. "Ninety percent of the talk was about size," Langseth added after emerging from the governor's office. Democratic leaders in the Legislature want to spend $100 million more than Pawlenty on projects such as community events centers, college facility repairs and park improvements.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's main rural economic development program would be history -- but local governments would get more state aid -- under a bill senators are considering. Sen. Tom Bakk's proposal, expected to pass out of his Senate Taxes Committee today, contains a list of items Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty does not support.
ST. PAUL -- Legislative plans to fill a $935 million state budget gap are taking shape in ways similar to a proposal outlined by Gov.
ST. PAUL - There is no extra money. Budget cuts are a foregone conclusion.
ST. PAUL -- Status of some issues in the Minnesota Legislature: Baby product safety: Bills are moving through the Legislature to outlaw baby products made with certain materials, but face skepticism from some lawmakers. Biofuels: Lawmakers are considering increasing blends of biodiesel -- a fuel made of plant oil and diesel -- to 20 percent from the current 2 percent. Bonding: The House and Senate have passed their own public works funding proposals, but have yet to agree on a compromise agreement.
ST. PAUL -- A bill written by the state House tax leader eliminating all state aid to business includes killing the rural Job Opportunity Building Zones program. Rep. Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington, said she was surprised at the strong reaction to her surprise proposal on Wednesday, even though Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty's JOBZ project is only a small part of a bill that would raise $280 million. "The bottom line is that the program has helped rural Minnesota," said Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans could sue insurance companies that don't pay claims under a bill senators preliminarily approved Tuesday. The measure -- called the "good faith" bill by supporters because it requires insurance companies to act in good faith when dealing with claims -- "makes that consumer whole, that they do get what they pay for," bill sponsor Sen. Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, said. Final Senate approval is expected today. The House is considering a similar bill. Sen.