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
- 3 years 5 months
Eight is enough. That is the message Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann delivered early Wednesday when she announced that she will leave the U.S. House after eight years. In a video message, she gave no hint about her future, but said she could have won re-election if she wanted to run. The 57-year-old congresswoman who serves the area north and northwest of the Twin Cities surprised the Minnesota political community by posting a video announcing her decision.
ST. PAUL -- Here are how some issues fared at the recently completed 2013 Minnesota Legislature: Bonding: Gov. Mark Dayton and House Democrats wanted to borrow $750 million to $800 million for public works projects around the state, but Republicans and Senate Democrats favored something smaller. In the end, they agreed to spend $177 million, with $132 million to continue a state Capitol building renovation project.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed two provisions of a bill funding outdoors and arts projects, saying a House committee ignored a citizen advisory panel. The vetoes eliminated $3 million to fight aquatic invasive species that was destined for tribal and local governments and $6.3 million to improve Twin Cities parks. "This decision is extremely difficult for me," Dayton wrote to legislative leaders, because he supports the causes but had said he would veto projects the advisory committee did not recommend. Dayton blamed a House panel led by Rep.
ST. PAUL -- The keystone of Minnesota Democrats' budget plans, $2 billion in tax increases, won House approval early today and the Senate pulled a surprise in the early morning hours by approving money to fund state Capitol building renovations. Faced with a midnight constitutional deadline to adjourn for the year, Republicans and Democrats began working together overnight to find a way to neatly end the contentious session. Senators planned to take up the tax bill today, but have dropped plans to approve an anti-bullying bill to affect school-age children.
ST. PAUL - Smokers will provide the backstop to Viking stadium construction funding, the governor and legislative leaders announced Thursday night. If that is not enough, eliminating corporate tax loopholes will be a second backup to electronic pulltabs and bingo, which have failed to generate as much state revenue as expected. Confirming a proposal Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans unveiled earlier in the day on behalf of the governor, the Democratic leaders said they agree on the plan. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House, Senate and governor's office agreed to a tax plan Thursday night, four months after the Legislature started and four days before lawmakers must wrap up work for the year. The tax plan is a merger of what the Democratic-controlled House and Senate and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton wanted.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota senators set a modern-day record for debating a single bill Tuesday night and Wednesday morning before voting to give childcare providers and personal care attendants the right to unionize. The bill passed 35-32 a little after 8 a.m.
ST. PAUL -- Taxes remain a key issue as the Minnesota House, Senate and governor's office negotiate a final budget deal in the last days of the 2013 legislative session. House-Senate tax conference committee members exchanged a number of proposals Wednesday, but did not come to a solution. They have agreed to raise about $2 billion in new revenue, but differ on how to do it. Members are slowly coming closer to creating a new fourth-tier income tax bracket for the richest Minnesotans, likely to land somewhere between 8.94 percent and 10.6 percent.
ST. PAUL -- Rural and urban Minnesota senators battled Wednesday night about how to divide outdoors and arts program funding. Rural senators won, but just barely. Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, said rural Minnesota is "under assault once again" with an amendment by Sen.