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—Chronically ill Minnesotans are driving up health insurance premiums so much that state officials are rushing to deal with the problem. Commerce Department officials on Monday, Nov. 14, told a task force studying how to contain soaring health insurance costs that 2.2 percent of people who bought individual policies last year caused 50 percent of claims. That forced up prices for healthier people. As the task force looks at ways to reduce insurance costs, the Commerce Department advice was that any solution has to address that disparity.
ST. PAUL—He shocked the world by winning election as a most unconventional candidate. He never hesitated to say what was on his mind, no matter how controversial. He came from a celebrity background and preached the need to change government. He attracted people who may not always vote. He attacked reporters, complaining they did not give him a fair shake. He often talked about himself. And he did not spend as much money campaigning as others, in a large part because his star status drew plenty of attention.
ST. PAUL — Three of four legislative leaders come from rural Minnesota, and none from Minneapolis or St. Paul. Only Rep. Melissa Hortman of suburban Brooklyn Park comes from the Twin Cities. The Democrat will be House minority leader. Rep. Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, continues as House speaker and Sen. Tom Bakk of Cook remains as the top Senate Democrat, although since his caucus lost control he will be minority leader instead of majority leader as he has been.
ST. PAUL—Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura wrote in Time Magazine that he does not understand why the media compare him to President-elect Donald Trump. See if you think they sound alike. Take this quiz to guess who said what. Answers are at the bottom. A) The fact is I give people what they need and deserve to hear—exactly what they don't get from politicians—and that is the truth. ... We don't have time to waste on being politically correct. B) I ain't got time to bleed.
ST. PAUL—Minnesotans looking to buy new Medica individual insurance policies, but have not already made the purchase for 2017, are out of luck. The state Commerce Department announced early Friday, Nov. 11, that Medica of Wisconsin and Medica Insurance Co. reached a cap on the number of new policies they are willing to sell. That means for most of the state, the companies stop selling policies to people who are not already customers.
ST. PAUL—Sen. Paul Gazelka said he had no intention of becoming the Minnesota Senate's leader until his wife, Maralee, reacted to election returns. "My wife said, 'You ought to be running for that seat,"" the Nisswa senator said Thursday, Nov. 10, moments after fellow Republicans elected him the majority leader in the second time the GOP has held the Senate majority in more than 40 years. Insiders said three senators ran for the office, but Gazelka and others refused to comment on the election.
ST. PAUL -- Republicans apparently won control of the Minnesota Senate Tuesday, Nov. 8, and came close in many races they were not expected to make competitive. As Donald Trump...
ST. PAUL --Minnesotans supported a constitutional amendment establishing a 16-member independent panel to determine state legislator pay. With all 4,120 precincts reporting, unofficial returns from Tuesday, Nov. 8, showed nearly...
North Dakota and South Dakota went, as expected, to Republican Donald Trump. Major news services projected the two states as going to the GOP candidate second after polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8. The news was no surprise. The projections were made based on exit polls because there was very few votes counted. The two states were joined by a line of states across the middle part of the country to vote for Trump, including Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Texas.
ST. PAUL—Election day may be Tuesday, but 568,196 Minnesotans already have voted. That is the word this morning from the secretary of state's office and represents the most early voters ever. This is the first presidential election in which a state no-excuse, early-voting law is in effect. The figure represents the absentee vote count plus mail-in ballots used in some rural predicts.