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 - Five Minnesota Supreme Court justices must decide whether thousands of greater Minnesota voters' absentee ballots were unfairly rejected in the 2008 U.S. Senate race. Republican Norm Coleman's attorneys Monday told the justices that laws were not evenly applied, and actions in larger counties such as St. Louis, Ramsey and Hennepin tilted last Nov. 4's U.S. Senate election in favor of Democrat Al Franken. Those Democratic-heavy counties "are the counties that relaxed the standards and let the votes in," Coleman attorney Joe Friedberg said after a Monday high court hearing.
ST. PAUL -- A column penned by the assistant Minnesota Senate majority leader may signal how Democrats will react to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's unilateral cutting of state budgets. Sen. Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, wrote that the Republican governor is improperly using his unallotment powers, the authority in law for him to cut budgets when there is not enough revenue to pay for everything lawmakers approved. "What the crafters of the unallotment law didn't anticipate was a rogue governor who would choose to act in bad faith, as Pawlenty has done," Clark wrote.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota's request to overturn a federal law that threw Dakota and Winnebago Indians out of the state can become a way to teach about mistreatment over the years, Native Americans and a state legislator say. The 1863 law banning the two tribes has been replaced with presidential and congressional actions, and Dakota Indians live on four Minnesota reservations, but the law remains on the books. Rep.
ST. PAUL - Low-interest loans are available to farmers affected by floods and other severe weather in 28 Minnesota counties. The Minnesota Rural Finance Authority announced the loan availability Wednesday, following a presidential disaster declaration in April. Weather-related damages not covered by insurance may allow farmers to receive the loans. For instance, farmers may apply for building repairs or replacement or for purchase of feed to replace lost crops. Loans will be up to 10 years at 3 percent annual interest.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota's soaring home foreclosure rate, a top issue a year ago, has eased a bit in the Twin Cities, but not so much in other parts of the state. And as the foreclosure situation swells, especially in rural Minnesota, options are scarce. Ed Nelson of the Minnesota Home Ownership Center said that those outside the Twin Cities are more likely to find fewer options to get out of foreclosure because, ironically, they often did everything right when picking their mortgages. The housing crisis began with sub-prime mortgages that were issued without enough collateral.
ST. PAUL - Shouting matches ended the 2009 Minnesota legislative session early Tuesday as lawmakers struggled to balance the state budget. Legislators failed to reach a deal with Gov. Tim Pawlenty, but the Republican governor said he will finish the job. The normally staid Senate adjourned for the year moments after its midnight deadline with Republicans shouting to be allowed to talk about a hastily introduced tax bill. Minutes before adjournment, Sen.
ST. PAUL - Roots of the word "allot" go back centuries in English, French and German languages. "Unallot," on the other hand, hardly can be found in a dictionary. But it is the most popular - or unpopular, depending upon a person's political persuasion - in the Minnesota Capitol these days. When Republican Gov.
ST. PAUL - Flood prevention and recovery projects will be fully funded, but Gov. Tim Pawlenty trimmed a public works funding bill, saying legislators want to spend too much. The bill originally proposed spending $361 million, with $300 million coming from funds the state would borrow.
ST. PAUL - Money talk became emotional Sunday as Minnesota representatives sustained two vetoes -- one that ends a health program for the state's poorest and sickest residents and the other that would have raised taxes $1 billion. With the Legislature facing a midnight tonight deadline for adjourning, the House votes cement Gov. Tim Pawlenty's position that he will cut state programs on his own to balance the state budget.