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 6 months
Personal income is expected to rise faster than public budgets in coming years, meaning a smaller percentage of Minnesotans’ income will go to government. State figures show that 15.4 percent of the average person’s income today goes to state and local governments, a figure expected to drop to 14.6 percent in four years.
ST. PAUL -- U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer summed up the past few weeks of federal political debates, including a 16-day government shutdown, like many Americans would: “What in the Sam Hill is wrong with this town?” Most around Washington seem to expect better results when the next budget deadline arrives, or at least they hope so.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Democrats wasted no time to begin cheering the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this morning to reject a federal gay-marriage ban. The ruling follows Minnesota’s decision this spring to allow same-sex couples to wed. The federal ruling means those who do marry will receive federal benefits denied to gay couples in states that allow them to marry.
The U.S. House this afternoon defeated 234-195 a farm bill that would have funded agriculture and nutrition programs for the next five years. The defeat came after House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., had agreed to support the bill regardless of the outcome of a dairy program amendment. The dairy proposal, which was amended in Boehner’s favor, was one of the most controversial of the bill.
Rep. John Lesch, DFL-St. Paul, said he was not happy to see Mayo President Dr. John Noseworthy go to the National Press Club Tuesday “and wag his finger at the Minnesota Legislature.” Lesch said his support for the plan fell after Noseworthy’s comments. Other lawmakers also criticized the comments. Noseworthy said other states would like Mayo’s planned $3 billion expansion, but said Mayo plans to keep its Minnesota presence.
ST. PAUL -- The treasure hunt is on: Seeking money for Vikings stadium construction costs after the original plan produced less money than expected. The Minnesota House Taxes Committee discussed a bill, but took no votes Wednesday, that would slap a 10 percent tax on professional sports memorabilia sold in the state.
ST. PAUL – Civil unions would give gay couples the same rights as married couples, says the sponsor of a Minnesota House proposal that is a step short of full marriage. “Government’s role is to protect the individual,” Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing, said Wednesday, adding that a bill authorizing civil unions he is introducing today would do just that. Gay marriage advocates immediately said the bill would create legal inequalities between gay and straight couples. Kelly’s bill would allow any two people, gay or straight, to join in a civil union.
"Swine flu" made an already-sick pork industry even sicker. And while the rest of the world awaits a new, and predicted much harsher, round of what officially is known as H1N1 influenza this fall, pork producers fear that renewed talk of the flu will make a money-losing situation worse. Ill-founded concerns that people could catch the flu by eating pork have combined with the recession, high crop prices and international trade issues to threaten hundreds of Minnesota pork industry jobs. Brian Buhr, head of the University of Minnesota's Applied Economics Department, offered a glum assessment