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 11 months
ST. PAUL -- The Minneapolis-St. Paul Catholic archbishop promises “major changes” in how his diocese deals with priests accused of sex abuse. Archbishop John Nienstedt’s comments Monday came after revelation that a Minnesota priest working on South Dakota’s Rosebud Indian Reservation in the 1970s sexually abused boys. The church did not tell law enforcement authorities about the incidents and paid the priest extra when he agreed to retire early in 2003.
ST. PAUL – Personal income is expected to rise faster than public budgets in coming years, meaning a smaller percentage of Minnesotans’ income will go to government. State figures show that 15.4 percent of the average person’s income today goes to state and local governments, a figure expected to drop to 14.6 percent in four years.
ST. PAUL – Winona LaDuke plans to use her national notoriety to fight what she says are dangers caused by North Dakota’s oil boom, which also could affect Minnesota communities such as where she lives. “I don’t approve of creating a national sacrifice area in North Dakota,” said LaDuke, an Indian rights activist, conservationist and two-time Green Party vice presidential candidate. LaDuke’s comments follow by about a week the revelation of a 20,600-barrel oil spill from an oil pipeline in the Tioga, N.D., area.
ST. PAUL – Minnesota Vikings football season ticket holders will contribute $100 million toward a new stadium by purchasing seat licenses and team owners will pay the same amount from their own pockets under an agreement signed Thursday night. Owners Zygi and Mark Wilf are responsible for $477 million, most of which will be borrowed, for the $975 million stadium.
The impact on Minnesotans of a federal government shutdown was spotty as of Tuesday, but an extended one would cause more widespread probems. State officials are examining the situation, and Commissioner Jim Schowalter of Minnesota Management and Budget activated the “Statewide Contingency Response Team.” “Due to the size and complexity of federal funding, determining impacts is complicated,” Schowalter said.
By Don Davis By Don Davis FORUM NEWS SERVICE A new way for Minnesotans to buy health insurance begins Tuesday. Most Minnesotans who even know about MNsure seem to have lots of questions. So here are some answers: What is MNsure? Think about Amazon.com or Priceline.com.
By Don Davis FORUM NEWS SERVICE Minnesotans may begin shopping for insurance online Tuesday, as a fundamental part of a new federal health law begins. A majority of people receive health insurance via their employers and nearly all of those policies will continue as is. Those on government-subsidized health care, some small-business employees and people without insurance or who carry their own private insurance are the ones who may be attracted to government-run services known as “marketplaces” or “exchanges.” MNsure is the Minnesota marketplace.
The state minimum wage is $6.15 an hour, but most workers earn at least the federal minimum of $7.25. Democrats in charge of the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton’s office want workers to be paid more, but to pass a bill they will have to find a number they can agree on. The House passed a bill to set the rate at $9.50 an hour by 2015, with automatic future increases based on inflation. But the Senate passed legislation to increase the minimum wage to $7.75 an hour by 2015.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Supreme Court justices questioned whether they should overturn a murder conviction of a man, convicted of killing a deputy sheriff, because he is an American Indian whose trial was held in a mostly white county. During the court’s Wednesday hearing in the 2009 death of Deputy Chris Dewey, justices grilled the attorney representing Thomas Lee Fairbanks, who in 2011 was convicted of the crime.