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
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ST. PAUL - Democrats claim Gov. Tim Pawlenty's plan to cut $2.7 billion from the state budget is illegal. Democratic legislative leaders Thursday told the Republican governor's commissioners that Pawlenty is overstepping his legal authority in balancing the budget by himself. "There is some shaky legal ground to do some of the changes you are doing," House Majority Leader Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm, said to Pawlenty's representatives. He called it abuse of state law. "This whole process just doesn't pass the smell test," Sen. David Tomassoni, DFL-Chisholm, said.
ST. PAUL - Health-care reform due to come out of Washington this year looks a lot like what is happening in Minnesota, the state House health leader says. But Rep. Tom Huntley, DFL-Duluth, Thursday said he will watch Congress carefully as it tries to craft a health-care measure that has eluded federal policymakers for decades. In particular, Huntley wants to make sure federal legislation is flexible enough that Minnesota may continue with its own reforms.
ST. PAUL - John Kline used to carry the "football" containing nuclear codes for President Ronald Reagan; now he will carry Republican ideals in the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee. The 28-member Republican Steering Committee Wednesday gave the Minnesota congressman the nod over Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington and Joe Wilson of South Carolina as top education and labor Republican. No vote totals were released. Issues in front of the committee are not those Kline ran on when he got into politics - armed services, intelligence and veterans' matters.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty would not need to cut budgets so deeply if he would listen to a state union's ideas, the organization's executive director says. Jim Monroe of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees said that his staff is looking into ways the state can save money. Although the effort is not done, the MAPE leader said, it is producing good prospects.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty today announced plans to cut nearly $2.7 billion from the state budget. The biggest portion of the budget-balancing action was nearly $1.8 billion in delaying state payments to school districts and other school adjustments.
ST. PAUL - Tuesday is the day Minnesotans find out where Gov. Tim Pawlenty will cut the state budget. Pawlenty and Commissioner Tom Hanson of Minnesota Management and Budget scheduled a 2 p.m. news conference to announce cuts to the state's two-year budget that begins July 1. The Republican governor already has said he plans to cut state aid paid to local governments, will reduce some higher education money and will cut back on health and human services programs.
ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. - Minnesotans get frustrated enough with road construction and paying taxes that they should not have to put up with both when they don't need to, Sen. Amy Klobuchar says. The Minnesota Democrat and other U.S. senators are pushing a bill to require that when any government builds or rebuilds a road with federal money that broadband conduit be installed at the same time.
ST. PAUL - Next year's Minnesota Legislature should be interesting, given that many key lawmakers want to make the jump to governor - or at least are considering it. Rep. Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, opted to leave his job as minority leader even if he just "kicks the tires" for a gubernatorial run. He said it would not be fair to the 47 House Republicans if he were forced to split his time between leading them and running for governor. Another House leader soon may face the same situation, but pretty much no one expects her to step out of her high-profile role.
ST. PAUL - Rep. Marty Seifert steps to the microphone late this morning in what many expect to be the first of many announcements related to Republican governor campaigns. Seifert plans to step down as House Republican leader. It is likely that the Marshall lawmaker will tell reporters that he is exploring a gubernatorial bid, although he could formally announce his candidacy. More announcements are expected as nearly 20 Republicans are thinking about jumping into the race now that Gov.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty will not be around for a third term, but today promised to remain active as the state's chief executive. "This is not a wake," the 48-year-old governor said in announcing he would step down after his second four-year term ends early in 2011. Pawlenty said he has not thought about what his next political step may be, although Republicans across the country like him as a potential presidential contender. "I still have lots of energy and ideas," Pawlenty said to a packed news conference. "But being governor should not be a permanent position for someone.