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 -- A Vikings stadium construction effort has fallen short for years, but a Friday meeting among NFL officials and Minnesota leaders produced the most progress so far. The plan that passed a Senate committee Friday night 8-6 faces tough votes in other committees.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans should be proud of their Capitol and repair its crumbling outside walls, its outdated electrical system and interior that is falling apart, Republicans said Thursday in an unsuccessful effort to fund the long-discussed work. Eleven Democrats joined Republicans in an 80-50 vote to sell $221 million of bonds to finance the work. It needed 81 votes to pass. "I am not going to bring it up (again) unless they (Democrats) will come ask," bill sponsor Rep.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Vikings football stadium issue sits on its own one-yard line, 99 yards from a score, and on fourth down players await a play call by legislative leaders standing on the sidelines. Oh, and the clock is nearly at zero and it is not clear that the leaders want to move the ball forward. Supporters of building a $975 million Minneapolis stadium said on Tuesday that hope, as slim as it is, remains eternal after a late Monday committee vote rejected a stadium plan.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Rep. John Kriesel just wants to have a good time. "Do you feel we are not as fun as other states?" the Cottage Grove Republican asked fellow representatives Tuesday before they delayed a vote allowing more powerful fireworks. Then, quoting from a Katy Perry song, he added: "You just gotta ignite, the light, and let it shine." A dozen other lawmakers also quoted from Perry's "Firework" as a gift to Kriesel, who is retiring from the Legislature. Kriesel said the bill needs to be considered by another committee, but will return to the full House.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota House members approved wolf hunting and trapping seasons on Tuesday despite warnings that the American Indian community may challenge it in court. "When we make laws, we make laws for all the people of Minnesota," Rep. Kerry Gauthier, DFL-Duluth, said before representatives approved a bill 82-49 that included the wolf seasons. Bill sponsor Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's Republican-controlled Senate approved business tax cuts Friday that Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton all but promises to veto. The highlight of the GOP tax proposal senators passed 34-26 along party lines Friday night after two and a half hours of debate is a reduction in a statewide business property tax and its eventual elimination. The bill by Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, would reduce the taxes $102 million next year. To fund the tax cut, the bill reduces state budget reserves. "We should not have a honey pot," Ortman said.
ST. PAUL -- A Vikings stadium construction proposal took its biggest step forward ever Monday night when a House committee approved the nearly $1 billion plan. After a decade of discussion about whether to build a new stadium, the House commerce committee decided on a split voice vote to advance the plan.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton says he was blindsided with news that the chief Minnesota House negotiator had a new Vikings stadium plan. Besides not telling Dayton, the governor said this morning that Rep. Morrie Lanning's proposal may violate federal law. "The good news is House leadership has come forward with a proposal," Dayton said.
Efforts to allow liquor stores to open on Sundays failed Friday in the Minnesota House. A proposed amendment by Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, to an otherwise routine liquor-related bill failed 97-25. An attempt by Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, to allow border county stores to sell liquor on Sundays failed 99-21. "You will go across the river and see them piling up ... on Sundays," Drazkowski said. Not everyone agreed. "There is nobody crying for Sunday liquor sales," Rep. Kerry Gauthier, DFL-Duluth, said. Gauthier's community is next to Wisconsin, which does allow Sunday sales.