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 -- Children fussed. Parents cried. Senators were outraged. Bureaucrats explained. "We have been pushed into the living conditions of a third-world country," Jeff Brouse told a Senate health committee hearing about a three-year effort to clean up a rural Thief River Falls dairy operation. Residents from near Excel Dairy drove to St. Paul Thursday to tell their plight.
ST. PAUL -- Norm Coleman joked that he is "free at last, free at last" Monday, hours after he opted out of the Minnesota governor's race. Other Republican candidates also may have been chanting that refrain on Martin Luther King Jr. Day after complaining that donations and support were harder to find as GOP activists waited to see what Coleman would do. Late Sunday, Coleman posted a statement to his Facebook page saying that the timing was not right for a candidacy, noting that it is just six months after a grueling U.S.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty wants to spend $315 million less to build and repair facilities around Minnesota than legislative leaders want. Republican Pawlenty this morning said he hopes lawmakers approve $685 million in public works spending, to be repaid by general tax dollars, while Democratic-Farmer-Labor party legislative leaders prefer spending about $1 billion. "You have got to be willing to say, 'No,'" Pawlenty said. Public colleges and universities would get the biggest chunk of money, 30 percent, mostly for fixing existing facilities.
ST. PAUL -- Veterans are homeless in larger numbers than other Minnesotans, and Durbin Keeney does not like that. "These are the ones who raise their right hands..." Durbin said Monday, when the state honored the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota and North Dakota governors waged a bit of a war in 2003 and 2004 over hunting laws, but now Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he is willing to help North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven hunt for votes as he runs for the U.S. Senate. "I'd do anything for him," Pawlenty said Monday when asked about Hoeven's run for Washington. "I really like him, respect him admire him. He is the kind of leader our country needs in Washington, D.C. Certainly, I would help him." Pawlenty gave Hoeven an "A-plus-plus" grade. The two Republican governors have not always agreed on everything.
ST. PAUL -- All-terrain-vehicle riders from other states must buy passes to use Minnesota's 2,000 miles of trails. The new law begins on Friday for out-of-state ATV users as a way to help fund trail maintenance. An annual pass costs $21 and may be bought via telephone, online or where hunting and fishing licenses are sold. The new law only affects out-of-state ATV drivers. Minnesotans already must register their ATVs and pay a fee. Snowmobiles also must be registered, whether they are from Minnesota or other states. The passes last a year and may be used on any state-run trail.
ST. PAUL -- New Hampshire's newspapers were kind to Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty on his inaugural visit as a potential presidential candidate. The Concord Monitor's headline read, "Pawlenty: U.S.
ST. PAUL -- U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a frequently quoted national Republican spokeswoman, pledges to work for a state constitutional amendment limiting Minnesota spending. The Minnesota congresswoman capped a Republican rally in favor of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's amendment proposal this morning.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty may target local governments as he looks for ways to plug continued budget deficits. Shortly after his aides announced that the current budget contains a $1.2 billion hole and the next two-year budget is $5.4 billion short, Pawlenty on Wednesday said his first action could be chopping a state payment due to local governments later this month.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's current state budget will be $1.2 billion in deficit if lawmakers and Gov. Tim Pawlenty don't take action, state leaders are learning today. And the state faces a $5.4 billion deficit through 2013. Pawlenty this summer cut $2.7 billion out of the two-year budget that began on July 1, leaving the state to spend $32 billion.