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 -- Minnesota senators voted themselves and other state officials pay raises Tuesday with no debate. The only mention of the raises, part of a larger bill funding several state agencies, in the Senate came when bill sponsor Sen. Tom Saxhaug, DFL-Grand Rapids, quickly described the bill. He did not provide specifics. When the vote came late in the afternoon, two big voting boards in the Senate chamber showed it failing by a single vote, then tied 33-33. After several minutes at 33-33, Sen. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley, changed from a "no" vote to "yes," and acting President Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Two Minnesota lawmakers are offering legislation to prevent Sanford Health from controlling University of Minnesota hospitals. Sanford, headquartered in South Dakota and North Dakota, is looking at taking over Fairview Health Services, which operates the university hospital system. "If we need to pass legislation to protect our University of Minnesota hospitals, then that is absolutely what we should do," Rep. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park, said Monday.
ST. PAUL -- New tests showing Asian carp likely are not colonizing Minnesota waters should not slow efforts to stop the invasive fish, experts say. "The results certainly don't say we should be doing anything different than we are right now," said Steve Hirsch of the Department of Natural Resources. Hirsch and other Asian carp experts reacted to Thursday's release of a study that found no indication that many of the carp are in Minnesota's Mississippi and St.
One south Washington County-area Republican legislator supports civil unions as a step short of full marriage for gay couples, but a prominent local former GOP lawmaker said that doesn't go far enough. Rep. Denny McNamara, R-Hastings, joined a handful of other GOP House members and one Democrat Wednesday to propose civil union legislation that would give gay couples the same rights as married couples. Such a move is "supported by a vast majority of Minnesotans," Rep.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Legislature is famous for deciding major issues near the end of each year's session. Expect 2013 to be no different. So far, Gov. Mark Dayton has signed just one major bill into law, and eight minor ones, out of 3,172 that the 201 lawmakers have introduced. That means there will be a lot of public and private debate by the Legislature's constitutionally mandated May 20 adjournment date. "The budget will be the big push," said Sen.
Two Twin Cities schools' future rests in legislators' hands. A East Metro Integration District board governing Crosswinds school in Woodbury and Harambee in Maplewood decided to give away the facilities, but Minnesota Management and Budget has ruled that the only thing it can do without legislative approval is to sell the buildings.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House will debate guns. The House public safety committee passed a watered-down gun regulation bill on a 10-8 vote Thursday night, with the House floor the next stop for the controversial issue. The bill contains several noncontroversial provisions to keep guns out of the hands of people who are not supposed to own them, but it also includes a contentious requirement that purchasers at gun shows must have background checks.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans will be able to shop for health insurance through a state marketplace beginning Oct. 1, but may not see savings for a couple of years. Minutes after Gov. Mark Dayton Wednesday signed a bill into law establishing the marketplace, to be known as MNsure, he said that it eventually will save Minnesotans money, but not until 2015 or later. Many cost savings will come from a shift in how Minnesotans get health care, the governor said.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota schools would be the biggest beneficiaries of a state House Democratic budget proposal that goes beyond the governor's plan to increase taxes on the rich. Minnesota House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, unveiled a budget outline Tuesday that accepts Democratic Gov.