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
- 1 year 10 months
ST. PAUL -- Goals of 100 percent high school graduation, every third-grader being able to read, ending an achievement gap and all students being ready for careers or college after graduation are lofty, but House Democrats say their sights are set on those accomplishments by 2017. Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, said Tuesday that the $15.7 billion House Democrats want to spend on education in the next two years would "actually make a difference in the life of every single student of this state." The House education financing plan closely follows one released by Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Civil unions would give gay couples the same rights as married couples, says the sponsor of a Minnesota House proposal that is a step short of full marriage. "Government's role is to protect the individual," Rep.
A multi-school district board governing Crosswinds school in Woodbury and Harambee in Maplewood decided to give away the facilities, but Minnesota Management and Budget has ruled that the only thing it can do without legislative approval is to sell the buildings.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans will be able to shop for health insurance through a state marketplace beginning Oct. 1, but may not see savings for a couple of years. Minutes after Gov. Mark Dayton Wednesday signed a bill into law establishing the marketplace, to be known as MNsure, he said that it eventually will save Minnesotans money, but not until 2015 or later. Many cost savings will come from a shift in how Minnesotans get health care, the governor said.
ST. PAUL -- House Democrats today said they want to not only permanently raise income taxes on wealthy Minnesotans, but also add a temporary surcharge on the richest of the rich to repay schools. DFL leaders provided no details, but said the surcharge would bring in $854 million needed to repay schools money the state borrowed from them over recent years.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton scaled back his tax requests today after hearing from the public, businesses and legislators that they were not keen on expanding the sales tax to most goods and services. "This does not allow us to do as many things as we could in a broader reform, but that is the way it is," he said in announcing changes from his initial Jan. 22 budget proposal. The governor still wants to raise taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans more than $1 billion and increase public school and higher education spending almost that much.
ST. PAUL -- Wrangling the numbers in a revised budget proposal forced Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton to postpone its release. His spokeswoman, Katharine Tinucci, on Tuesday tweeted the announcement will come "later in the week. Still working on final numbers." The Democratic governor released his original budget proposal on Jan. 22.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans either will get a better deal on health insurance or they will face problems if the Legislature and governor agree on a new way for 1.3 million Minnesotans to buy health insurance. That is how the debate boils down about a bill the Democrat-controlled House Monday night approved 72-58 over Republican protests. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans may not know what the word means, but starting today they begin to feel the impact of automatic and deep federal budget cuts known as "sequestration." No one knows for sure how Minnesotans will be affected, but there is widespread agreement it will be felt. U.S. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- A proposal to increase Minnesota long-term care funding could help elder care as baby boomers prepare to retire, supporters say, but overall state budget questions threaten its future. House and Senate legislators from both parties on Tuesday released a bill to increase how much money the state sends to nursing homes and the elderly who live at home. It would increase funding $56 million, which is 5 percent, each of the next two years. Sen.