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
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ST. PAUL — Black-white and urban-rural tensions filled a Minnesota House committee room Tuesday, with black protesters telling the mostly white Legislature that it should spend more money on social programs and less on prisons. Protesters frequently interrupted as western Minnesotans testified in favor of reopening a private prison in Appleton. The interruptions forced the committee chairman to recess the meeting for an hour, and when it was resumed no more pro-prison supporters testified.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota landowners are to have access to maps showing where they need to install buffer strips by July 1, but questions, distrust and clarifications remain. The Minnesota Legislative Water Commission on Thursday heard that preliminary maps are to be available online this summer, with landowners able to zoom in on their properties. That information should allow them to know where to install buffers. But, like water in much of Minnesota, the requirement is not clear.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota's railroads are becoming safer, railroad officials and legislative transportation leaders agree. The state's four largest railroads invested more than $500 million on infrastructure last year, most of which improved safety. By far the biggest investment was from Minnesota's largest railroad, $326 million by BNSF Railway Co. "These improvements are paying off for all kinds of traffic," BNSF Vice President Brian Sweeney told Minnesota legislators Monday.
ST. PAUL — Cami Peterson-DeVries was intense when she pleaded with Minnesota lawmakers to find money so nursing homes could boost worker wages. "They can go to the sugar beet plant down the road and get more money," she told a state House committee. Peterson-DeVries, who was RenVilla Health Center administrator in Renville, was joined on the witness stand by many others from rural nursing homes across the state, including Michael Syltie of Wind West Village in Morris. He said that his 50-person staff had 15 openings. The testimony was Jan. 21, 2015.
ST. PAUL – Minnesota violates federal identification card rules, and Minnesotans needing an ID to get into some federal facilities may be out of luck. Within days, the federal government...
WASHINGTON — American schools will feel less federal intervention once the president signs a bill headed his way. Supporters of a measure the U.S. Senate passed 85-12 Wednesday, sending it to President Barack Obama, say that when it becomes law pressure Washington has put on local schools will ease and school leaders will have more say in what happens in classrooms. "There's nothing more important to our kids' futures — and our country's economic future — than providing them with a good education," said Sen.
ST. PAUL — Federal authorities are ready to give farmers in Minnesota and nine other states money to help save the iconic monarch butterfly. The U.S.
ST. PAUL — An abandoned western Minnesota prison became a viable option to house state prisoners Wednesday when two Democratic senators said that leasing space in it makes more sense than new construction. "I felt today there are legs under our proposal," Swift County Commissioner Gary Hendrickx said after a prison overcrowding task force meeting. Several members of the task force said that they want to investigate leasing a private Appleton prison that closed in 2010 after Minnesota and others removed their prisoners. Minnesota Corrections Commissioner Tom Roy, a Gov.
ST. PAUL – Finding gasoline mixed with higher percentages of ethanol soon will be easier for Upper Midwest motorists. A federal grant is due to help fund 620 new "blender...
ST. PAUL — Thousands of poor Minnesota families begin getting more state aid Wednesday as the new state budget begins. The $42 billion, two-year overall state budget provides more housing assistance, as well as lower child care costs. "Too many children are living in poverty without proper housing and other basics," Assistant Commissioner Jim Koppel of the Human Services Department said.