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 10 months
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.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's gay community never has known such joy. That joy showed Tuesday night as American and rainbow flags flew in front of the state Capitol when Minnesota became the 12th state to embrace same-sex marriage. Minnesota gays and their supporters could not contain their enthusiasm during a 45-minute ceremony featuring Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Gay Minnesotans and their supporters rallied with tears of sadness rolling down their faces two years ago. Today, their faces are covered with tears of elation as the Minnesota Senate voted to allow them to marry. Senators voted 37-30 Monday to remove a state law that bans same-sex marriage. Sen. Katie Sieben, DFL-Cottage, supported the bill. The vote followed a Thursday 75-59 House vote, leaving Gov. Mark Dayton's signature the only task remaining before gays can marry starting Aug. 1.
ST. PAUL -- Gay Minnesotans and their supporters streamed into the Minnesota Capitol today expecting to witness history. They sang "America" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and celebrated, anticipating senators to approve gay marriage this afternoon. Handfuls of same-sex marriage opponents kneeled in prayer at various spots around the Capitol. There was little doubt under the massive marble dome that senators would join state representatives who Thursday approved a bill overturning an existing law banning same-sex marriages. When that vote happens, the bill only needs Democratic Gov.