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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By DON DAVIS FORUM NEWS SERVICE A Minnesota official who took five days of testimony and received 2,000 letters about the proposed Sandpiper oil pipeline recommends its construction. Administrative Law Judge Eric Lipman on Monday also recommended that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission place some conditions on its approval and said the case is complex and “this one is a lot harder than it ought to be.” The PUC now again will consider Sandpiper, which would transport North Dakota oil through new Canada-based company Enbridge facilities from south of Tioga, N.D., to Clearbrook, Minn
By DON DAVIS Forum News Service Minnesota state legislators are taking a break from legislating for an Easter-Passover recess. The 201 lawmakers have finished a dozen weeks of their year’s work, with six remaining when they return to St. Paul on April 7. With the break, it seems like a good opportunity to answer some questions about the time legislators have remaining to complete their work for the year. With just six weeks left in the legislative session, is there much left to be done? Oh, yes. Lots.
By Don Davis St. PAUL -- Minnesota Senate Democrats' budget plan falls between higher-spending Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and big-tax-cut House Republicans.
BY don davis MINNESOTA CAPITOL BUREAU KLN Family Brands in Perham has more than 100 job openings, but the western Minnesota community has no homes for people the company hires. Similar stories came from far-flung parts of Minnesota, such as Willmar, Roseau, Cook County and Red Wing, before a state Senate committee on Monday approved a series of bills designed to help pave the way for homes to be built, as well as for would-be workers to receive adequate training. “In rural Minnesota, we have an absolute crisis in terms of our workforce,” said Steve Renquist of the Kandiyohi County
ST. PAUL -- The national debate about how much police body camera video is public landed in the Minnesota spotlight Thursday. A bill a Senate committee considered would make most of the video private. "Given the sensitivity of some of the data that is going to be on the cameras ...
Many resort owners and boaters strongly object to a new law written to stop invasive species from spreading through Minnesota waters, and they have been heard. Legislators are looking into whether to scuttle the law, passed in 2012, or to tweak it into something more acceptable. The existing law requires boaters and others who tow boats and other trailers carrying water equipment to take classes, beginning this year, about how to avoid transferring aquatic invasive species such as zebra mussels from one water body to another.
Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says he is ready to move on from a dustup with Gov.
By Don Davis FORUM NEWS SERVICE This Minnesota legislative session is heavy on greater Minnesota topics, but the governor’s budget, which will be the base of whatever two-year spending plan that eventually passes, drew mixed reviews about how it would fund issues outside of the Twin Cities. Officials representing Minnesota cities complained that Democratic Gov.
By Don Davis Minnesota nursing home workers can earn more money at Fleet Farm, Dairy Queen and a sugar beet processing plant than helping the elderly, nursing home administrators across the state complain. That means, they told a House committee Wednesday, that nursing home residents are not getting care as good as they should.
Rural Minnesota has some striking differences with Minneapolis and St. Paul, but also some surprising similarities. For instance, north-central Minnesota's population is poorer than most of the state, with lower income and more school students on government-subsidized free lunch than much of the state.