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
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ST. PAUL -- Minnesota is doing better than most neighboring states, Gov. Mark Dayton told legislators and Minnesotans Wednesday night in his third State of the State address. And it is doing better than two years ago, he added. "Minnesota's job growth in 2012 was the 12th best among all 50 states; and we outperformed three of our four neighbors," Dayton said during a 48-minute speech that was politely received by lawmakers. "Iowa ranked 30th best; South Dakota was 44th." He continued a rivalry with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, saying Wisconsin "helped bring up the rear at 42nd.
ST. PAUL -- Sami Rahamim delivered a powerful message to Minnesota legislators: Don't let other youths suffer through the shooting deaths of their fathers. The son of the Minneapolis' Accent Signage owner, killed in a mass shooting last year, offered his support Tuesday to gun-control bills Minnesota legislators are considering. "My dad lived the American dream, but died the American nightmare," the 17-year-old said about Reuven Rahamim, who built Accent Signage into a nationally known sign maker before he was killed by a gunman Sept.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton says taxes on average Minnesotans would not increase under the budget proposal he released at mid-day. The plan includes a mixture of tax increases and decreases and it would spend more on education and jobs programs.
ST. PAUL -- If Minnesota Democrats ever are to see a state budget they like, today is the day. Gov. Mark Dayton is ready to announce his proposal at midday, giving Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Laborites the only chance they have had in a generation to approve higher taxes and more spending on programs they hold dear. Specifically what he plans to propose has been a closely held secret, although he campaigned in 2010 on raising taxes on the state's richest residents and often discusses that philosophy. He and other Democrats also put a high priority on reducing property taxes.
ST. PAUL -- Money dominates conversation as Minnesota legislators prepare to begin their 2013 session at noon today. It is such a dominant part of the session that when caught rushing to a midday Monday appointment, Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, could not think of an important non-budget issue. In fact, Marquart said he has told fellow state representatives that the budget is so important that they should not consider issues such as gay marriage and gun control this year. Down the hall and around the corner in the State Office Building, Rep.-elect Dan Schoen, DFL-St.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's budget future includes uncertainty, spending cuts and tax increase proposals. Especially uncertainty. State officials Wednesday announced a $1.1 billion budget shortfall, but warned that number could grow to $2.8 billion if Congress and the president fail to solve a federal budget problem by year's end.
ST. PAUL -- More than 76 percent of Minnesota's eligible voters cast ballots Nov. 6, best in the country, but the state's top election official says even more would participate if they could vote early. In this year's election, 2,950,780 Minnesotans voted. That is the most ever, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said, and while final numbers are not in, he said that he is sure Minnesota has the highest percentage in the country. "We're No. 1 by many," he said. Ritchie's comments came after the State Canvassing Board approved returns from Nov. 6 voting.
ST. PAUL -- Incoming Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk has announced who will lead committees for the next four years. Democrats regain control when senators return Jan. 8 for the 2012 session and lots of familiar Democratic senators will be chairmen. The decision comes unexpectedly early since last week Bakk said the committee structure and chairmen would not be decided until early December. Presumptive House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, has not announced who will lead committees in his chamber. Besides naming chairmen, Bakk appointed Sen.