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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WASHINGTON—Many American farmers are thankful today for an Obama administration decision to boost the amount of renewable fuels, such as made from corn and soybeans, in the country's gasoline and diesel supply. The Wednesday, Nov. 23 announcement was a turnaround for the Environmental Protection Agency, which earlier planned to require less renewable fuel to be mixed with gas and diesel.
ST. PAUL—Turkey talk turned thoughtful Monday, Nov. 21, as a hunger fighter said she worries about feeding Minnesotans. Colleen Moriarty of Hunger Solutions Minnesota said the number of people in the state using food shelves has reached an all-time high, and now she is concerned about discussion in Washington to remove funding from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. "I am very worried," she said during the governor's office annual ceremony denoting Thanksgiving week and honoring the state's 450 turkey farmers.
He shocked the world by winning election as a most unconventional candidate.
ST. PAUL—Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura wrote in Time Magazine that he does not understand why the media compare him to President-elect Donald Trump. See if you think they sound alike. Take this quiz to guess who said what. Answers are at the bottom. A) The fact is I give people what they need and deserve to hear—exactly what they don't get from politicians—and that is the truth. ... We don't have time to waste on being politically correct. B) I ain't got time to bleed.
Chronically ill Minnesotans are driving up health insurance premiums so much that state officials are rushing to deal with the problem.
ST. PAUL—Chronically ill Minnesotans are driving up health insurance premiums so much that state officials are rushing to deal with the problem. Commerce Department officials on Monday, Nov. 14, told a task force studying how to contain soaring health insurance costs that 2.2 percent of people who bought individual policies last year caused 50 percent of claims. That forced up prices for healthier people. As the task force looks at ways to reduce insurance costs, the Commerce Department advice was that any solution has to address that disparity.
ST. PAUL—Minnesotans looking to buy new Medica individual insurance policies, but have not already made the purchase for 2017, are out of luck. The state Commerce Department announced early Friday, Nov. 11, that Medica of Wisconsin and Medica Insurance Co. reached a cap on the number of new policies they are willing to sell. That means for most of the state, the companies stop selling policies to people who are not already customers.
The election did not appear to clarify whether the governor and lawmakers will agree on how to lower health insurance premiums.
ST. PAUL—Greater Minnesota Republicans flexed their muscle. They helped provide the state House and Senate a GOP majority and forced some U.S. House races into closer-than-expected contests in the Tuesday, Nov. 8 general election. While House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump deserves some of the credit in attracting rural voters to the polls, some legislative candidates outpaced the president-elect in votes.
Republicans apparently won control of the Minnesota Senate Tuesday, Nov. 8, and came close in many races they were not expected to make competitive.