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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Political observers have a saying they like to resurrect at every election: It's all about turnout.
ST. PAUL — Mrs. Smith is going to Washington. Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will replace U.S. Sen. Al Franken once he resigns after eight sexual misconduct allegations. Smith plans to run in the 2018 election to fill out the final two years of Franken's term. Franken has not said just when he will step down. Last week, he said he would resign in "the coming weeks."
Ann Daley needs to know the "full skinny" about what is happening in her community. So she turns to her local newspaper for everything from city council decisions to where there is a taco feed. "It is local events that I like to know about," the 86-year-old woman said about what she has found in the Bemidji Pioneer since she and her husband moved to the community in 1976.
MINNEAPOLIS — James Robinson has no doubt federally funded programs saved him. "If it wasn't for the funding of these programs here wouldn't be programs that say, 'You deserve to live,'" the Minneapolis resident, Wednesday, told reporters and a crowd supporting Medicaid and other federal programs they fear could be cut or eliminated by Republican-written federal health care legislation. "You haven't walked a mile in my shoes," he said to those who would cut health funding. "You don't know what it is like."
ST. PAUL—Gov. Mark Dayton often says that Minnesota voters sent a politically divided government to St. Paul, creating the basis for conflict. The 2017 legislative session proved him right, but the past five months also showed that opposites can compromise. The major compromise between Democrat Dayton and the Republican-controlled Legislature came early Friday, May 26, when they came together on a $46 billion, two-year state budget. Dayton is expected to discuss the Legislature's budget at some point on Friday, perhaps saying if he will sign all of the bills.
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Legislature's rush to pass budget bills stopped Wednesday afternoon, May 10, to allow a senator to be with her dying father. Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, was back home with her father, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said. "Sen. Nelson's father is gravely ill and we are trying to work with that. We are playing it by ear. We just don't know. Her being by her dad right now is really important." With Nelson gone, that leaves 33 Republicans and 33 Democrats in the Senate.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, who collapsed while delivering his State of the State address on Monday, announced Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer but plans to continue working while undergoing treatment. "I want to give Minnesotans assurances that I am functioning normally, which I feel like I am," he said.
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota House Taxes Committee chairman is tired of dealing with Wisconsin about income taxes. So Chairman Greg Davids, R-Preston, drew up a provision he plans to insert into his tax bill this year that would reimburse Minnesotans who pay higher taxes working in Wisconsin than if they worked in Minnesota.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is bringing back a public works funding bill much like he offered last year, proposing to spend $1.5 billion on projects ranging from water treatment plants to fixing college buildings. "These projects have a direct economic benefit," the governor told reporters in a conference call Wednesday.
ST. PAUL — Gov. Mark Dayton walked out of a meeting he chairs Tuesday, Nov. 29, over a battle about whether Civil War paintings should hang in his office. "It has been a deeply distressing issue for me," Dayton said, claiming Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, wishes to return six paintings to the governor's office once the state Capitol building restoration finishes next year is rooted in political ambitions.