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 — Jose Sanchez says his immigrant community fears living without driver's licenses. "Our community needs licenses to get around, to get to work, to get to school," he told a Minnesota House committee Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. "I ask that you listen to us and deal with your heart," he pleaded before the Republican-controlled committee voted 8-6 along party lines to keep in a provision that would enact a law banning immigrants to the United States without legal documentation from getting a license.
ST. PAUL — The University of Minnesota's request to bump up its state funding $147 million comes at a tough time. The big university news over the past few weeks has been a football scandal, easily topping the team's Holiday Bowl victory. With that fresh in Minnesotans' minds, university officials are hitting up the Legislature for more money. "It doesn't help," said Jennifer Schultz, a Duluth legislator and University of Minnesota Duluth professor. "Timing wise, it is really bad to get when these fires happen. And we have really had a lot of fires."
ST. PAUL -- A tweaked 2016 tax proposal that never made it into law is back. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said on Thursday that his plan calls for $230 million in a variety of tax cuts and $70 million in new spending for things such as increased state aid to local governments. It is based on a bill most legislators backed last year, but Dayton opted not to sign after a $101 million mistake was discovered in it.
ST. PAUL — Arthur Roger Franzen was not overly impressed with his ornate, and newly renovated, surroundings.
RIGA, Latvia -- Russia will pay the price for meddling in the American election, a trio of U.S. senators warned Wednesday, Dec. 28, while visiting countries on the country's western border. "We have all agreed to be pretty aggressive about an end to this Russian aggression," Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said about the Obama administration's claim that Russia hacked political groups' computers, including the Democratic Party, before the Nov. 8 election.
ST. PAUL -- Wildly popular 2016 Minnesota tax legislation would have cut farmland property taxes, increased state aid to local governments, handed tax breaks to a spouse of a disabled military veteran, reduced state property taxes and made dozens of other tax-related changes. But even with nearly 90 percent of legislators backing the measure, it never became law. Gov. Mark Dayton did not sign it because his administration discovered a costly wording mistake, and a special legislative session that could have passed the bill never materialized.
ST. PAUL -- Billions of dollars in state public works construction projects are on hold, and no one knows if the Minnesota Legislature will make money available for them in 2017.
ST. PAUL — High-level Minnesota state negotiations just are not working. As they tried to strike a special session deal — or tried not to, some say — the two...
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans counting on tax cuts or state construction projects will be disappointed, but those who signed up for pricey individual health insurance policies can maintain a sliver...
ST. PAUL — A rigid calendar deadline that not even top Minnesota officials can change affects citizens statewide, but especially in greater Minnesota. The reality that the 2017 state Legislature...