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—Minnesota taxpayers will fund free pre-kindergarten for 3,302 4-year-olds this fall, a far cry from what Gov. Mark Dayton would like. But Newport Elementary made the list, slated to receive $118,415 for 24 students. Dayton and state education officials last week announced what districts will get money to start the programs. The $25 million legislators approved earlier this year means slightly more than a fifth of the state's school districts will provide free pre-kindergarten. Money is headed to 74 districts and charter schools.
Jason Lewis used his celebrity of being a radio talk show host as basis for becoming the Republican nominee to replace U.S. Rep. John Kline. Lewis won the 2nd Congressional District Republican primary despite not quite living within the district’s boundaries. Unofficial results showed him with 48 percent of the vote with more than 75 percent the precincts counted.
ST. PAUL—Minnesotans may be the best at turning out for general elections, but they have voted in shrinking numbers in primary elections. And there is not much on the Tuesday, Aug. 9, primary ballot to drive those numbers higher. That is too bad, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said. "A primary election, obviously, determines which candidates are going to appear on a general election ballot," Simon said.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's political leaders say they have a problem trusting each other, but on Tuesday they pledged to continue trying to pass failed tax and public works legislation. "We all have trust issues with one another," Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton said. House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, agreed, adding: "I think the governor hasn't really kept his word. ...
ST. PAUL -- Gov.
Scenes from the Minnesota legislative session
ST. PAUL—Greater Minnesota has lots at stake in a legislative transportation funding debate. Senate Democrats said March 14 that it is not just about roads and bridges. They said that rural transit also needs more money. Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said that last fall he moved his mother into a senior citizen apartment and quickly discovered there is no van or bus service to the regional center of Virginia, Minn. "Let me tell you," Bakk said, "transit is not just a metro issue."
ST. PAUL—Minnesota is almost to the point where key state officials can begin talking about complying with federal identification card standards. The state Senate voted 63-2 last week to lift a 2009 law that prevented Public Safety Department officials from even discussing upgrading Minnesota driver's licenses and other ID cards to meet federal standards. The bill passed last Monday requires state officials to draw up a proposal by March 31 to guide the Legislature in crafting legislation to require that Minnesota driver's licenses be upgraded.
Greater Minnesota has lots at stake in a legislative transportation funding debate. Senate Democrats said March 14 that it is not just about roads and bridges. They said that rural transit also needs more money. Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said that last fall he moved his mother into a senior citizen apartment and quickly discovered there is no van or bus service to the regional center of Virginia, Minn. “Let me tell you,” Bakk said, “transit is not just a metro issue.”
ST. PAUL -- Construction workers in hardhats roved around the Minnesota House chamber Tuesday morning, less than an hour before the 2016 session began, conducting last-minute checks on microphones and voting buttons. It was a sign of a House meeting in a construction zone this year. The Rev.