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 — The two major presidential candidates appear to agree on something. Hillary Clinton: "America's rural communities lie at the heart of what makes this country great." Donald Trump: "Growing our farm sector and supporting our nation's farmers are absolutely critical steps to making America great again."
ST. PAUL—Minnesota's governor says a President Barack Obama inspired health-care law needs work. "The reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable for increasing numbers of people," Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday, Oct. 12, while encouraging state and federal lawmakers to make changes. Soaring health insurance costs are a "very serious problem," Dayton told reporters seeking reaction to his administration's recent announcement that individual health insurance policies' premiums will jump 50 percent to 67 percent next year.
ST. PAUL—A conservative group says Minnesota's taxes are the 46th most competitive in the country. The Tax Foundation reported on Wednesday, Sept. 28, that when considering corporate, individual income, sales, property and unemployment insurance taxes, Minnesota finished near the last. Only Vermont, Washington, D.C., California, New York and New Jersey have worse business tax climates, the foundation reported.
ST. PAUL—Minnesotans must be eager to vote in the Nov. 8 election. Nearly 47,000 registered to vote online last week, with about 27,000 on Friday, Sept. 23, alone, smashing the one-day record of 7,602. The big interest in registering, as well as early voting, bodes well for high voter turnout in the 2016 election. Secretary of State Steve Simon announced the figures on Monday, Sept. 26.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota is about to increase its campaign warning about the dangers of pain killers known as opioids. State officials also plan to work with medical and pharmaceutical professionals about the risks of overprescribing the drugs. The state announced Monday, Sept. 19, it is receiving $2.5 million from the federal government to fight heroin and prescribed pain killers such as morphine, codeine, methadone, OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, Fentanyl and buprenorphine. Federal and state officials say dependence on those drugs is increasing.
ST. PAUL — A new Minnesota Poll shows Donald Trump closing Hillary Clinton's lead in the state, which mirrors national polls showing the presidential race tightening. The Star Tribune's Minnesota Poll indicates Clinton would receive 44 percent of the vote and Trump 38 percent if the election were held now. North Dakota native Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate and former New Mexico governor, received 12 percent support, although more than a quarter of those surveyed said they did not know who he is.
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...
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...