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 - Minnesota college students delivered a simple message to legislators: Don't forget us. But their delivery was a bit more colorful than many people who lobby lawmakers. "This sucks," recent Bemidji State University graduate Cody Nelson told a Wednesday Capitol rally. "We are sucking away the future of this state." About 250 students crisscrossed the Capitol complex Wednesday, attempting to convince lawmakers as they try to fill a massive budget deficit that they should keep any higher education cuts to a minimum.
ST. PAUL - Workers will fix roofs and walls, renovate buildings and, in general, improve state facilities later this year if some key legislators' wishes come true. Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, on Tuesday announced he plans to push a $300 million public works bill, nearly three times what normally would be expected this year.
ST. PAUL - Jeff Almer wants his mother's death to mean something. Shirley Almer of Perham died Dec. 21 from salmonella poisoning blamed on contaminated peanut butter. It was the first of at least nine U.S. deaths, including three in Minnesota, attributed to the deadly organism from a Georgia peanut butter factory. "I want to make a difference," he said after appearing with scientists and the son of another victim in a Monday University of Minnesota roundtable discussion. "It is in honor of my mom that I am doing this." Almer and U.S. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators roughed up Gov. Tim Pawlenty's budget proposal in the past week. As Democratic-controlled legislative committees began to look at the GOP governor's budget, some Republicans joined Democrats in criticizing it.
ST. PAUL - Proposed business tax cuts would do little to immediately boost Minnesota's economy, Gov. Tim Pawlenty's top aides heard Thursday from a fellow conservative Republican - as well as Democrats who control the Legislature. The toughest attack on Pawlenty's plan in a Senate Taxes Committee discussion came from Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, who normally sides with the governor. "In order to avail itself a tax credit, a small business must have money," Ortman told Revenue Commissioner Ward Einess. "There is no money in the economy. ...
ST. PAUL -- Bill Clinton was president. Arne Carlson was governor. Gasoline was $1.15 a gallon. Six more years of new television episodes were in "Friends" future. Google was two people in a garage. And Minnesota cities received $368 million in local government aid. Fast forward a dozen years and all that has changed, except LGA could still be at $368 million. That is how Steve Peterson of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities sees the situation as Gov.
ST. PAUL - Give Minnesota's Q Comp teacher pay and performance program an "incomplete." That was the message auditors delivered Tuesday to legislators who are considering Gov.
St. PAUL -- Dixie Duncan sat in front of the Senate Transportation Committee, daughter Brynn in a wheelchair at her side, and paused to regain her composure. "Pass this law for Brynn," she pleaded. Committee members obeyed, unanimously approving a bill requiring children up to 8 years old and 4-foot-9 tall to use proper child restraint systems, such as booster seats. Current law requires such restraints for children younger than 4. Duncan, who lives in Moorhead, Minn.,said her daughter, now 8, sustained severe spinal cord injuries in an Aug.
ST. PAUL -- A top state union official leaves the door open for Minnesota officials and union members to negotiate a pay freeze. Eliot Seide, executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 5, said the 43,000 union members he represents feel the existing contract should not be renegotiated. He did not rule out a freeze in the next contract, with negotiations starting within months. However, he said, there would be at least one requirement in negotiations when they start in the spring: If Gov.
ST. PAUL - Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle appeared before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, asking that his state get its share of money from a federal economic recovery package. Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Majority Leader Tony Sertich met privately with the state's congressional delegation in Washington and again in St.