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 -- Minnesota lawmakers from both parties signal they plan to use last year's rough budget debate as foundation for this year's legislative election campaigns. With all 201 legislative seats up for election, Minnesotans will hear a lot about state spending. And the two sides will spin the budget outcome. House Minority Leader Rep. Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, appears eager to bring up the issue. He called the two-year budget passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's economy is doing better than the country, helping generate a modest state budget surplus, but that does not translate into extra money. That is because the money, in essence, already is spent. State finance officials Wednesday announced a $323 million projected surplus, because a little more revenue is coming in and, mostly, less money is being spent.
ST. PAUL -- The Republican-controlled Legislature is about ready to send Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton a bill that reduces the importance of seniority when school districts consider laying off teachers. Senators Monday favored the proposal 36-26, with just one Democrat voting "yes." The House earlier passed a similar measure. The bill allows school districts to decide whether to lay off a teacher largely based on performance. "Who stays and who goes should not be determined on who signed the contract first," said bill sponsor Sen. Pam Wolf, R-Spring Lake Park.
ST. PAUL -- A judge deciding the fate of a child care providers' union election said Wednesday that Gov.
ST. PAUL -- New political district maps released today show little U.S. House change, but more in the Minnesota Legislature, where 46 of 201 lawmakers were put in districts with other incumbents. For rural Minnesota, it was no surprise that congressional and legislative districts grew geographically as people moved to suburban districts as a five-judge panel struggled to keep the same population in each district. In the U.S. House, relatively little change was in order as a five-judge panel released new political maps, although former presidential candidate U.S. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- A five-judge Minnesota panel plans to release new congressional and legislative district maps at 1 p.m. Tuesday. The courts earlier had refused to announce a release date, but on Monday said the maps will be available at www.mncourts.gov under a "special redistricting panel" link. Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea established the judicial panel last year in case the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton did not agree on a redistricting plan.
ST. PAUL -- A deal between Minneapolis officials and the Minnesota Vikings is expected any day, but the Senate's leader said if a stadium construction plan does not progress fast enough that he could see a special legislative session on the issue. "I'm not sure we want to stay around here waiting for a stadium," Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, said Friday. "We're not getting anywhere at this point," he added. Several reports indicate that Gov. Mark Dayton's stadium point man, the Vikings and Minneapolis leaders are close to a deal that could be announced in days.
ST. PAUL -- The most important day of the 2012 Minnesota legislative session, for some at least, could be Tuesday. That is the day when a state judicial panel is expected to release new legislative and congressional district maps.