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
- 1 year 12 months
ST. PAUL -- Jeffrey Weise shot and killed his grandfather on March 21, 2005, and tried to load a semi-automatic rifle. But former FBI agent John Egelhof told a Minnesota House committee Wednesday that the rifle, the type that would be banned under a bill state lawmakers are considering, jammed and Weise was forced to use less- efficient guns when he went to a school in in northwestern Minnesota.
ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Legislature today overwhelmingly approved $168 million in new state aid for communities damaged by summer floods and wind storms. The House voted 125-3 for the measure, with the Senate following 60-7. The entire special session took less than two hours, and an expected House Republican protest regarding the actions of Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Individuals and small businesses recovering from summer storms would share in a disaster recovery bill lawmakers are discussing. The Federal Emergency Management Agency rejected Minnesota's request to help home and business owners, but a proposed nearly $190 million funding package from the Dayton administration includes more than $30 million of individual aid. Republicans a week ago said they had sticker shock over the proposal; they had expected something closer to $27 million.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's campaign season officially began today. As she has for five elections, Rep. Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, stayed overnight on her lawn chair in a hallway outside the secretary of state's office to be first in line to file candidate paperwork. Before the office opened at 8 a.m., three others also were in line, the first of many throughout Minnesota to file for federal, state, local and judicial offices by 5 p.m. June 5. Peppin and other candidates said that being early shows voters how deeply they care about their races. Being first is a tradition for Peppin.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House approved a new Vikings stadium late Monday. The 73-58 vote sends it to the Senate, where it could be debated Tuesday or Wednesday. The $975 million proposal funded in part by charitable gambling taxes would be the largest single project the Legislature ever has approved. If the Senate also passes the measure, it likely would be handed to negotiators to work out differences between the two bills and the House and Senate would vote on the stadium again in a few days. "The people of Minnesota, fans, they want us to do something," Rep. Morrie Lanning said.
Minnesota House members approved wolf hunting and trapping seasons on Tuesday despite warnings that the American Indian community may challenge it in court. "When we make laws, we make laws for all the people of Minnesota," Rep. Kerry Gauthier, DFL-Duluth, said before representatives approved a bill 82-49 that included the wolf seasons. Bill sponsor Rep.
It is not something heard much around the Legislature: people suggesting fees they pay go up. But Minnesota anglers and hunters did just that Tuesday and the Senate natural resources committees complied, backing a bill that ups fees to replenish a fund running out of money and help fight invasive species.
Republican literature The Senate's top Democrat does not believe literature some Republicans handed out at the Feb. 7 precinct caucuses cost just $47. And Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, demands that the Senate Rules Committee take up the matter. Fifteen GOP senators planned to hand out fliers printed in the Capitol at state expense. It contained a link to donate to Republican candidates, which Democrats say violates a law that prohibits state-funded campaign material. Senate GOP Communications Director Steve Sviggum admitted to the mistake and said it was his fault.
ST. PAUL -- The federal Justice Department agrees with Sen. Amy Klobuchar that Congress should ban synthetic drugs that pose threats to Americans. The department has announced it backs three bills by the Minnesota Democrat to ban 2C-E, bath salts and synthetic marijuana. Klobuchar, a former prosecutor, has held hearings on the issue in Washington and Minnesota after several communities reported problems with the drugs.
ST. PAUL -- Lee Byberg plans to run against U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, his second straight time trying to defeat the longtime veteran congressman. Tarryl Clark moved from St. Cloud to Duluth to take on first-term U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack. Mike Parry is considering challenging U.S. Rep. Tim Walz. So is Steve Drazkowski. Potential candidates for eight U.S. House, 134 state House and 67 state Senate districts are lining up to represent Minnesotans.