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.
ST. PAUL - It's a win-win-wind situation for Minnesota, renewable energy supporters say about a new legislative push that appears to be on the fast track. Four versions of a legislative proposal to increase use of renewable energy sources, such as wind, feature relatively minor differences this year after a half-dozen years of controversy. The biggest change is Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, has offered a bill similar to those of two Northland senators and one pushed by one of the most liberal senators. "The stars are aligned," Sen. Ellen Anderson, DFL-St.
ST. PAUL - Rural and inner city communities would be hurt if Gov. Tim Pawlenty's property tax freeze plan is enacted, rural lawmakers say. "Why should you always kick the dog at the bottom?" asked Sen. Keith Langseth following Pawlenty's fifth State of the State address Wednesday. Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, and other rural lawmakers did not like the Republican governor's proposal to cap property taxes levied by local governments. The dispute is a continuation of one that has gone on for years.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota high schools would need to perform better under a set of reforms Gov. Tim Pawlenty unveiled Wednesday during his fifth State of the State address. "We're not just going to pay for good intentions anymore," Pawlenty told a packed House chamber. "We're going to pay for better performance as part of a new 'Successful Schools' initiative." The governor proposed increasing school funding by 2 percent each of the next two years, with the possibility of doubling it if a school earns at least three out of a possible five stars on the state school report card.