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
- 2 years 5 months
ST. PAUL -- Taxpayers in one Minnesota county alone could pay an additional $3 million because a 2006 U.S. Supreme Court decision added red tape to many construction projects. No one has taken time to tally the total cost of the ruling that is delaying construction of all kinds, ranging from constructing new homes to laying pipelines to building docks to putting poles in the ground.
ST. PAUL -- Dru Sjodin's family received $300,000 from Minnesota taxpayers to compensate for the college student's death, but they say that even more important are stronger laws dealing with sex offenders like the one who killed her. In a legal settlement that came to light this week, the state agreed to pay Sjodin's relatives $300,000, but admitted no wrongdoing in releasing Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. from state prison.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Department of Transportation intentionally withheld bridge construction documents from a House committee, its chairman says, and he is ready to issue rare subpoenas to obtain them if state officials don't give him the paperwork within a month. The subpoena threat came Thursday as the House Commerce Committee investigated lengthy delays in finishing the second half of a Mississippi River bridge connecting Dakota and Washington counties. Lt. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Look for virtual "welcome" signs in Minnesota's northern forests. "Rather than having a series of private landowners put up 'no trespassing' signs, we are putting up 'welcome' signs for Minnesota citizens to enjoy the great outdoors," Gov.
ST. PAUL -- State, private and local bridge inspectors are poring over bridges across Minnesota as the two-month anniversary of a Minneapolis bridge collapse arrives Monday. State inspectors and a private contractor working for the Minnesota Department of Transportation face a Dec. 1 deadline to fulfill Gov. Tim Pawlenty's promise to check all bridges.
ST. PAUL -- Dan McElroy says it won't take much money to make a difference in rural Minnesota, and the $70 million Gov.
ST. PAUL -- It's either a technicality or an illegality. The fate of road and bridge construction projects across Minnesota depends on the decision. Gov. Tim Pawlenty wants a legislative committee to rubber stamp what he calls a routine request to allow his administration to spend more money than planned in wake of the Aug. 1 Minneapolis bridge collapse. "It is nothing more than a technicality," he said Tuesday. However, Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's pioneering 32-year-old anti-smoking law gets a facelift Oct. 1. That is when the Freedom to Breathe Act takes effect, banning smoking from almost all indoor areas other than homes and private vehicles.
ST. PAUL -- A farm bill debate that moved swiftly in the U.S. House is crawling along in the Senate, where Democrats say their proposal is still weeks, if not months, from completion. Meanwhile, congressional leaders say the resignation of U.S.
ST. PAUL -- Paying higher taxes is not something taxpayers usually favor, but like a loaded truck rumbling down the interstate, it appears there is so much momentum behind increasing transportation funding that it can't be stopped. Legislative leaders and Gov. Tim Pawlenty's staff are working on details, but several taxes are likely to increase in the wake of the Aug.