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 11 months
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.
ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota House committee approved the use of marijuana to help suffering patients after 7-year-old Amelia Weaver provided an example Tuesday night of why some want the practice legalized. The girl suffered a seizure, one of about 30 she suffers a day, while her mother told the Minnesota House Health and Human Services Policy Committee on Tuesday night that marijuana could help her daughter.
ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota car owner who wants a massive bright yellow bug deflector, with purple polka dots, could install one under a provision Gov. Mark Dayton proposes. Now, state law regulates bug deflectors' size and color. Dayton also wants to eliminate a law that specifies the size of containers in which fruit is sold and one that requires the state agriculture commissioner to round up any wild boar that gets loose in Minneapolis or St. Paul.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's state budget surplus is growing. A report released this morning shows the state has a $1.2 billion surplus, $408 million more than predicted in early December.
ST. PAUL -- Expect a minimum wage increase, but no tax increase, when Minnesota legislators return to St. Paul for the year at noon Tuesday. Expect widespread agreement on borrowing $840 million for public works projects, but not so much agreement on where to spend that money. Expect movement toward increased long-term care funding, but not a requirement to pay bottle and can deposits.