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—"The reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable for increasing numbers of people." Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton had not even finished the sentence when political reporters knew they had a story. After all, Dayton has been a strong proponent of the federal health care law, better known as Obamacare, and pushed to establish a state online health insurance sales portal. That MNsure operation is Minnesotans' connection to Obamacare.
Minnesota is about to increase its campaign warning about the dangers of painkillers known as opioids. State officials also plan to work with medical and pharmaceutical professionals about the risks of overprescribing the drugs. The state announced Monday, Sept. 19, it is receiving $2.5 million from the federal government to fight heroin and prescribed pain killers such as morphine, codeine, methadone, OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, Fentanyl and buprenorphine. Federal and state officials say dependence on those drugs is increasing.
Minnesotans, those who care about such things at least, figured special legislative session talk was dead. They could be wrong. Gov. Mark Dayton said at the Minnesota State Fair that if local money could be found to support a southwestern Twin Cities light rail project, and the Legislature did not need to take action on the issue, he would talk to key lawmakers about calling a special session to take up a tax bill and funding public works projects.
Rescuers flew from St. Paul to near Split Rock Lighthouse to carry an injured woman to a waiting ambulance, and authorities said it took less time than had local public safety personnel tried to move her over the rough terrain along Lake Superior. "They could have extracted her ....
By Don Davis ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton handed state commissioners annual average raises of $29,000 Wednesday, admitting that Minnesotans cannot relate to that big an increase.
Minnesota legislative leaders succeeded early Saturday to pass the final piece of the state budget. The central issue was a controversial agriculture and environment finance bill that environmentalists said was too weak. After senators voted to change the bill, the Republican-controlled House restored the measure to its original form, sending it back to the Senate. The Senate took three votes on the $780 million legislation before accepting the original bill. It eliminates the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens' Board, which makes pollution-related decisions.
Chris Weber boiled down his life-changing decision 11 months ago to one question: "Is that cellphone worth more than the life next to you?" The widower of the woman Weber's vehicle struck and killed June 30, 2014, had the answer: "Put that phone away." Weber got out of the Nobles County Jail on Friday on a manslaughter charge of killing Andrea Boeve in rural Rock County last year. On Monday, he went in front of reporters in St.
Hoping to protect Minnesota's groundwater supplies amid an irrigation boom, state officials this season will have new power to levy heavy fines on farmers pumping water illegally. Last year, the Legislature authorized the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to fine violators as much as $20,000 without having to go to court.
Farmers who worry that the federal government wants to regulate mud puddles on their land are examining a 297-page rule the Obama administration released Wednesday. The new water quality rule was not well received in farm country, but agriculture groups' attorneys need time to study the document from the Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency to know its full impact. The administration wrote the rule to protect streams and wetlands
—A North Dakota oil train derailment reinforces the fact that Minnesota legislators have a week and a half left in their 2015 session but have not settled on what they would do to improve rail safety. "It accentuates why we have to do this," House Transportation Chairman Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing, said of Wednesday's derailment. Kelly and fellow Republicans have no specific oil rail safety plan although the chairman s