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 -- 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.
ST. PAUL -- It is a busy, busy time in legislative offices these days. Some legislators and employees are packing up to leave after election losses or voluntary retirements. New folks are moving in.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Vikings say Gov. Mark Dayton and others are jumping the gun in criticizing the idea of selling pricey seats to some season-ticket holders. In strong language, Dayton wrote to Vikings owners complaining about their interest in selling high-priced seat licenses to raise money that would count toward the team's contribution to a new nearly $1 billion stadium.
ST. PAUL -- Sen. Tom Bakk will be the Minnesota Senate's leader. A Tweet from inside a closed meeting early this afternoon gave the expected news. Bakk, DFL-Cook, was to meet with reporters later today. Democratic senators and senators-elect met at the St. Paul Hotel this afternoon to pick leaders and celebrate taking control of the Senate in Tuesday's election. They were out of power two years, after Republicans took the majority in 2010 for the first time in 38 years. Tonight, Democratic representatives are expected to pick Rep. Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, as speaker.
ST. PAUL -- Forgive Minnesota Democrats if they wear broad smiles today. Democratic-Farmer-Laborites won all the big prizes in Tuesday's election. Witness: -- Both houses of the Legislature will be in DFL control for the first time in two-and-a-half decades. -- Democratic President Barack Obama carried Minnesota, like he did the country. -- Two Republican-pushed constitutional amendment proposals lost. -- The Minnesota congressional delegation will be in Democratic control, thanks to Rick Nolan's return to Congress in northeastern Minnesota. -- U.S. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- The top Minnesota Senate Democrat said early today that his party has regained control it held for 38 years. Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, told a crowd gathered in a St.
ST. PAUL -- Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar breezed to an easy re-election victory Tuesday and most U.S. House members from Minnesota won. However, some House races remained close late Tuesday, with one in the northeastern quarter of Minnesota likely not to be decided until Wednesday. Winning U.S. Reps. Included Collin Peterson, Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum and Erik Paulsen. The 8th Congressional District in the northeastern quarter of Minnesota that featured first-term GOP U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack and former Democratic U.S. Rep.