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.
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ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton's budget proposal continues to play out in interesting ways, usually with Republicans strongly opposed and Democrats more mildly in support. Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, told a top Dayton official that the budget, especially the tax increase portions, "makes it more difficult to compete" with states nearby where governors are trying to lower taxes. "This budget looks to many of us like a good deal for government," Dean said, but not for business or the average Minnesotan. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- President Barack Obama's Minneapolis appearance Monday will be at a Minneapolis Police Department facility, and not open to the public. The president will talk about his plan to curtail gun violence with local political and law enforcement leaders, the White House says. No public events are planned. "Minneapolis is a city that has taken important steps to reduce gun violence and foster a conversation in the community about what further action is needed," a White House statement said.
Minnesotans would pay taxes on clothing worth more than $100, rich Minnesotans' income tax would increase and property taxes would fall under a proposal released by Gov. Mark Dayton at mid-day. The Democratic governor proposes tax increases more than $2 billion, to be used to pave over a $1.1 billion budget deficit and increase spending for education and jobs programs. Key to the Dayton budget is increasing taxes on the top 2 percent of Minnesota earners. For instance, that would up taxes on 883 people in St.
ST. PAUL -- One in five Minnesotans are expected to buy health insurance offered by a mostly online marketplace that a newly written bill would establish. The marketplace, known as a health care exchange, is required by federal law known as Obamacare and must be in place by Oct. 31. "A Minnesota-based exchange allows Minnesota the opportunity to modernize our public systems," state Sen. Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick, said. The bill Lourey and Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Sunlight turned decorations atop the Minnesota Capitol dome a brilliant gold as state legislators prepared to begin their 2013 session at noon today. But in the background, clouds were approaching and fog surrounded downtown St. Paul. It was like what was going on under the dome. Legislators were bright and optimistic on their first day, especially 62 newly elected members, as they hosted families and friends on the ceremonial opening day.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's 201 legislators headed to the state Capitol today for the noon beginning of their 2013 session, with by far their most important task writing a two-year budget. There are some catches, the most unpredictable of which may be how the federal government's budget problems will affect Minnesota. A third of the state's $60 billion all-funds budget for the current cycle comes from Washington, an amount in question as Congress and President Barack Obama prepare for another round of national debt debate. Gov. Mark Dayton plans to release his budget plan Jan.
ST. PAUL - More than a fifth of Minnesotans will sit down at a computer, or talk to someone using a computer, a year from now answering a series of questions. It may look like they are on Travelocity planning a vacation, or maybe searching Amazon.com for the right gift. Instead, they will be buying health care insurance.