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
- 5 years 3 months
ST. PAUL - House Majority Leader Tony Sertich says Gov. Tim Pawlenty erased $1.5 million in state construction projects from his district as revenge for comments he made about the Republican governor. The Chisholm Democrat told reporters Friday that on March 14 a Pawlenty staff member called with what he said was a message from the governor: "I have a hockey analogy for you. Cheap shots are cheap, but they are not free." Sertich said the staffer went on to say that Pawlenty threatened to veto projects in Sertich's northeastern Minnesota district.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota state budget writers received some good news Thursday, as a House-Senate conference committee looked at ways to plug a $935 million deficit. A state Finance Department report showed 4.5 percent revenue growth in February and March, with only the sales tax dropping from earlier projections. The department drew no conclusions about how the revenue numbers would affect the budget.
ST. PAUL - Smokers and obese Minnesotans would be targeted for health-improvement programs, soaring health-care costs could slow a bit and thousands more Minnesotans would be added to public programs. Those are among provisions in a controversial health-care reform bill state representatives approved 83-50 Thursday night after more than seven hours of debate. It and a more extensive bill senators earlier passed face a questionable future because Gov.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota state representatives voted 88-45 Thursday to fund an Iron Range cancer study, but Gov. Tim Pawlenty threatens to veto the bill because it would take money from a fund filled by most Minnesota businesses. Taking money from a workers' compensation fund, as Rep.
ST. PAUL - More than 10,000 seriously ill Minnesotans could control pain with marijuana legally if a bill headed to the full House becomes law. The House Ways and Means Committee voted 13-4, with 12 members absent, Wednesday to advance the measure. But Gov. Tim Pawlenty is likely to veto it if the House passes the measure. "Gov. Pawlenty stands with law enforcement in opposition to this bill," Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung said. Even if the bill faces a veto, sponsor Rep.
Senators offered preliminary backing Monday for a bill banning the use of computer software to interfere with concert and event ticket sales. Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, said the measure attempts to prevent an occurrence similar to what happened at a recent Hannah Montana pop music concert in Minneapolis, when brokers used software to buy tickets before the general public. The bill makes that a misdemeanor. It would prevent brokers from being able to "scarf up all the tickets within minutes of them going on sale online," Latz said.
The Senate gave final approval Monday to its plan to balance the state's $935 million budget deficit. The bill makes spending cuts of between 3 percent and 4 percent to most state agencies and uses budget reserves and available cash. Senate Finance Chairman Richard Cohen, DFL-St. Paul, said, while unpleasant, the bill is needed to erase the deficit. Senators voted 40-25 for the bill, which does not fund some of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's priorities. "It's kind of a poke in the eye to the governor," said Sen. Claire Robling, R-Jordan.
Democrats who control the Minnesota House rejected a GOP attempt Monday to require photo identification for voting, claiming it could disenfranchise people who do not have a photo ID. "The issue here is nothing more than proving who you are" when you show up to vote, said Deputy Minority Leader Tom Emmer, who said his proposal was meant to prevent voter fraud. The Delano Republican's amendment to an election bill failed 70-59. Democratic Rep. Bill Hilty of Finlayson, who authored the election bill, said requiring photo ID could make it more difficult for some legal citizens to vote.
Minnesota county boards must hold a public meeting before appointing someone to fill a commissioner vacancy, senators decided Monday. The Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill by Sen. Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick, requiring more public input before a county commissioner appointment. The bill also says a special election must be held if a vacancy occurs more than a year before the next county general election.
A just-signed law allows Minnesotans' voting addresses to change when they tell the U.S. Postal Service they are moving.