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
- 4 years 10 months
ST. PAUL -- A nearly $1 billion proposal to fund state construction projects, ranging from trails to transit, launched Tuesday with its author calling it "inadequate" and a Republican who usually supports public works projects saying he could not vote for it.
ST. PAUL -- Fixing ice-cold roads and preventing red-hot railcars are Minnesota lawmakers' transportation priorities.
ST. PAUL -- Parents of suffering children used an emotional Wednesday news conference to blame Gov. Mark Dayton for killing a bill that they would allow them to use marijuana to ease children's seizures. A Woodbury parent said the governor should "put special needs ahead of special interests."
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota revenue officials will not be ready to pay Minnesotans for newly enacted tax breaks until April 3. Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans today advised Minnesotans who may qualify for one of 10 new individual income tax breaks not to file income tax returns until then. He said that is when tax preparers, software companies and his Revenue Department should be ready.
ST. PAUL -- Tax cuts may come to those who wait. Democrats who control the Minnesota Legislature were fired up and ready to cut taxes Thursday, but Senate Republicans refused to allow a $432 million tax-cut bill come up for a vote, saying they and the public had not had time to read it. "I think as a senator, I have the right to read the bill," said Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, saying he first saw the bill an hour earlier when the 62-page bill still was hot off the copy machine.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota students would be guaranteed school lunches if senators agree with a House vote. By 130-0, representatives Thursday approved pumping $3.5 million into the school lunch program. The action came after a February report showed some school districts refused to provide food for students who forgot their lunch money or could not afford to pay. Some reports indicated meals students already had picked up were thrown in the trash.
ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota lawmaker who issued a tweet many called racist has apologized. Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, posted a tweet Sunday night saying: "Let's be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/possible exception of increase in streetcrime." The tweet drew immediate criticism such as: "The racial and racist undertones in this comment is beyond alarming."
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House passed a $500 million tax cut Thursday and the governor announced he wants to trim taxes $616 million, but the Senate is headed for smaller cuts. Democrats said the bill representatives passed 126-2 would provide tax relief to nearly 1 million Minnesotans, in a large part by matching most Minnesota tax law to federal law. That "federal conformity" means $301 million less Minnesotans would pay.
ST. PAUL -- A bigger tax cut and depositing more money in the state budget reserves are Gov. Mark Dayton's priorities in how to deal with a $1.2 billion surplus. The Democratic governor this morning announced he wants $616 million in tax cuts, a figure that includes $500 million the House is expected to approve later today. He also would spend $162 million more than is included in a $39 billion, two-year budget approved last year.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota veterans could request to take off Veterans' Day under a bill that a House committee passed Wednesday. Rep. Andrew Falk, D-Murdock, said that veterans often cannot attend events honoring them because they are stuck at work. "This is a holiday meant to honor these selfless men and women," said Stephanie Vorvick of the Chippewa County Veterans' Service Office.