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 - What to do about taxes is the most controversial of many controversial money issues in the Minnesota Legislature and now the House and Senate have passed different plans. The House barely passed its measure Saturday night, a day after senators adopted their version on another close vote. Negotiations begin soon on a compromise bill, but the governor says he doesn't like many of the provisions in either plan. Among the hottest issues is how tax proposals affect businesses.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House would give veterans programs more money, but delay or eliminate some agriculture spending. But for some representatives, neither got enough money in a Wednesday 83-49 mostly party-line vote, with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed. "We are willing to fund dog parks and trails and hockey arenas," Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, said. "Where is our priority?" Rep.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota representatives told state-run colleges and universities to hold tuition increases to a minimum the next two years. A bill House members passed 86-46 Wednesday keeps Minnesota State Colleges and University system tuition increases to no more than 2 percent a year for the next two years. University of Minnesota tuition is capped at 3 percent annually.
ST. PAUL - Brandon Swanson disappeared May 14, but his presence was felt Monday in the Minnesota Capitol. The House voted 134-0 for a bill named after Swanson. It was written to speed up searches for missing young adults. "It will mean big changes for anguished family members," said Rep.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota House Democrats propose increasing taxes on rich Minnesotans, smokers, drinkers, businesses that recently moved to Minnesota and youths downloading Internet music. House Tax Chairwoman Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington, said the bill is the biggest tax-reform measure in 20 years.
ST. PAUL - State-run colleges and universities' budgets would be cut under a bill senators reluctantly passed 41-23 Friday. Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system schools would receive 3 percent less in the next two-year budget than they receive now. The University of Minnesota's cut is 4 percent. "This means we are going in the wrong direction..." Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, said. "We should not be cutting higher education.
ST. PAUL - Bullying and other types of harassment would not be tolerated in Minnesota schools under a bill senators tentatively approved Thursday. On a 43-22 vote, the Senate approved a bill requiring school boards to adopt a policy that prohibits harassment. The policy applies to students and school workers. "The fact is some kids suffer vastly more significant forms of harassment," Sen.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota senators are considering increasing court fees nearly $36 million to prevent deep budget cuts for the courts system, but a leading judge and the senator in charge of judicial spending say the budget still would be too small. "They are moving in the right direction," Hennepin County District Judge Charles Porter said.
ST. PAUL - Paula Leach received training so she could deal with challenges she faces as an early-childhood special education teacher. The Hastings teacher fears that if the state gives an easy route for those who did not get such extensive training to get teaching licenses that students will suffer. Leach told a House education finance committee about her concerns Tuesday, one of several teachers to complain about a provision contained in an overall education measure. The provision, like one proposed by Gov.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota senators want to lift some mandates the state places on local governments, all in the name of saving money. Senators Monday gave the measure tentative approval on a voice vote, including doing away with long-standing truth-in-taxation hearings local governments are required to hold as a way to give citizens a chance to comment on their budgets. Instead, the bill requires local governments to notify citizens that they can appear at a regularly scheduled meeting during which local officials will consider future budgets. Sen.