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 — Here are some key areas of increased spending Gov. Mark Dayton wants in Minnesota's two-year budget that begins July 1: • $609 million for kindergarten-through-high school education programs. • $75 million to expand voluntary pre-kindergarten classes. • $84 million to expand access to child care and $61 million for child care tax credits • $318 million for Minnesota State and University of Minnesota systems for student financial aid and other needs. • $300 million in a variety of tax cuts to benefit 450,000 Minnesotans.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota Mark Dayton has a prescription for a new type of health insurance. Ironically, he was just getting into the issue during his Monday night, Jan. 23, State of the State speech when he encountered his own health issue. He collapsed 45 minutes into his speech; he walked out, but with assistance, after a few minutes and was reported doing well at home an hour later.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton collapsed during his State of the State speech Monday night, Jan. 23, but after a few minutes walked away with help. An hour later, he was playing a puzzle with his grandson at his official state residence. "He quickly recovered, walked out of the Capitol, and returned home," his chief of staff, Jaime Tincher, said an hour and a half after the incident. "EMTs joined the governor there, and performed a routine check. He is now spending time with his son and grandson."
ST. PAUL—Here are some excerpts from Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's Tuesday, Jan, 23, State of the State speech, as released in advance by his office: Dayton legacy "In my first Inaugural address, I promised that I would 'clean up the state's financial mess.' I have kept my word. We have turned that first $6 billion projected deficit into $1.4 billion projected surpluses for each of the next two bienniums." Taxes
ST. PAUL—Gov. Mark Dayton delivers his annual State of the State speech Monday, Jan. 23, and is expected to emphasize the need to speed health insurance premium relief to Minnesotans. He also may provide a bit of a preview for a budget plan he will release the following day. The State of the State address, to be held in the state House chamber, will be live-streamed on Forum Communications Co. websites. It also will be aired on the Minnesota Channel, on public television stations throughout the state, and on Minnesota Public Radio.
ST. PAUL — A Republican presidential Cabinet veteran gives President Donald Trump mixed reviews on his picks for key positions. "I am relatively pleased with the folks he has nominated," said Ed Schafer, a former agriculture secretary and ex-North Dakota governor, during a Friday, Jan. 20, interview with Forum News Service. "By and large he has business people who run big organizations," added Schafer, who sports a long business background himself.
ST. PAUL — Many Americans have strong feelings about President Donald Trump's picks for his Cabinet, but not so much his pick for agriculture secretary.
ST. PAUL — A state-federal program supported by groups ranging from conservationists to farmers is designed to improve Minnesota water quality by paying landowners to preserve 60,000 acres. The land in southern and western Minnesota would be marginal farmland, state Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson said. But if it is preserved, state officials said, it can be used to protect the state's water and improve wildlife habitat.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House Taxes Committee chairman is tired of dealing with Wisconsin about income taxes. So Chairman Greg Davids, R-Preston, drew up a provision he plans to insert into his tax bill this year that would reimburse Minnesotans who pay higher taxes working in Wisconsin than if they worked in Minnesota.
ST. PAUL — The first new law of 2017 came nine days into the annual legislative session. Now, that's zippy in a process that often drags on until May, especially when the issue is taxes, like the legislation Gov. Mark Dayton signed Friday, Jan. 13. And a couple other issues are moving fast, sort of. A bill to provide relief to Minnesotans paying high health insurance premiums passed the Senate and should pass the House in a few days. However, it will probably will hit a speed bump because the Dayton administration says some of its provisions would delay the aid.