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
- 4 years 10 months
WASHINGTON — Two men with Minnesota backgrounds are set to move into their U.S. Department of Agriculture offices. The Senate late Tuesday, Oct. 3, approved the nominations of Steve Censky to be the No. 2 person in the department and Ted McKinney to become the first-ever undersecretary of trade and foreign agricultural affairs. The nominations by President Donald Trump were not controversial, but it took weeks for senators to give their blessing to the pair.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota's new car dealers are at war, fighting an unlikely foe: car manufacturers. "MANUFACTURING LIES" a headline blares in the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association most recent magazine. That is followed by a series of other headlines, such as "The Dahms obstacle," "The misinformation campaign" and "Overcoming alternative facts." They are biting comments considering dealers need an alliance with automakers, whose products they sell.
PAUL — Minnesotans who do not have employer or government funded health insurance received good, but not great, news when state officials released 2018 premiums rates they will pay. Most individual insurance premiums will remain about the same as this year when Minnesotans can start buying them in a month, but many say the rates already were not affordable.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota can keep its program that indefinitely locks up sex offenders after they finish serving prison terms. The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday, Oct. 2, that it will not consider a case brought by patients of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, who claimed the state cannot keep them in a prison-like setting. That means the state program is constitutional and may continue. Still, state officials said that they will continue to find ways to release sex offenders from the program after years of no releases.
ST. PAUL—Police should interact more with their communities. That is an often-preached conclusion of the Governor's Council on Law Enforcement and Community Relations, which Friday, Sept. 29, released a report about how law enforcement-community relations can improve after controversial police shootings of black men in the Twin Cities and elsewhere in the country.
ST. PAUL — Pipelines are safe. Pipelines are dangerous. Oil that moves through pipelines is needed. Oil is not needed. Warm cookies are good. An apple is healthy. Those diverse views are, in short, what state officials must sort out as they decide whether a northern Minnesota oil pipeline should be rebuilt, a Thursday, Sept.28, afternoon and evening public hearing in downtown St. Paul showed.
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Board of Teaching has not been reporting teachers' sexual misconduct or inappropriate behavior with students that it uncovers. KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities reports it has found at least 17 times the board has not reported such instances since the 1980s. Board officials said they have no legal obligation to report the incidents, but political leaders say they should.
WASHINGTON -- Republican-written federal health care legislation that appeared lacking enough votes to pass is proof a bipartisan effort is needed to fix the issue, U.S.Sen. Amy Klobuchar told a national audience. "Put politics aside and put the people first," the Minnesota Democrat said during a 90-minute CNN health care legislation debate with three Senate colleagues Monday night, Sept. 25. Klobuchar used her national pulpit to urge bipartisan work to fix the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
ST. PAUL — Kate Swenson says Americans do not understand what Medicaid does. For her family, "Medicaid means my son can live at home," the Cottage Grove, Minn., said Monday, Sept. 25, as Medicaid advocates gathered in Gov. Mark Dayton's office to say they worry about a Republican-written bill due to come up soon in the U.S. Senate. "If that goes away, I don't know what we would do," Swenson said. "Public schools cannot serve him. ... If we lost it, my son will regress dramatically."
ST. PAUL — North Dakota and Minnesota governors could meet in a couple of weeks to negotiate a resolution to a major division between the two states: the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project.