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
- 5 years 2 months
ST. PAUL -- One of Minnesota's two Republican governor candidates would target rural areas for special help; the other would treat everyone the same. "If you don't pay special attention to parts of greater Minnesota ... they will be gone," Rep. Tim Pawlenty said during a Tuesday night debate. But his opponent, Brian Sullivan, disagreed. "I don't think the state should be in the business of picking winners and losers," Sullivan responded.
ST. PAUL -- The Ventura administration has delayed 163 road construction projects, citing lack of funds. "We will see costs increasing faster than revenue," state Transportation Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg said Tuesday after announcing delays in $1.6 billion of projects. "Transportation investments have lagged for 15 years and no new funding again in 2002 means project estimates, schedules and commitments must change," he said. The Department of Transportation reported that 139 of the projects are outside the Twin Cities area.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota National Guard joined flood-fighting efforts in Ada Monday after Gov. Jesse Ventura authorized their call-up during his trade mission to China. Eighteen soldiers from a Little Falls unit were pulled from work at the Red Lake Indian Reservation to help at Borup shore up its two dikes. When they arrived early Monday, "they found out the community had pretty much done all the work by the time they got there," Lt. Col. Denny Shields said.
Minnesota House members may be too busy taking Capitol orientation tours next year to get down to work right away. It is definite that at least 36 members of the 134-person body will not be back in 2003, although House Speaker Steve Sviggum, R-Kenyon, says when all is said and done, the House will have at least 50 new faces. It appears at least 11 of the 27 committee chairmen are among 36 representatives not returning.
ST. PAUL -- When the Minnesota Wild take to the ice, the outcome always is in doubt -- either they or the opposing team could win. The professional hockey team's home -- Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul -- hosts another match this week: On center ice will be two Minnesota Republicans competing for their party's endorsement for governor. And the outcome is just as much in doubt as when the puck drops at a Wild game. Brian Sullivan and Tim Pawlenty face off Friday when Republicans pick who will be on the Nov. 5 ballot.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota schools will cut at least $192 million from their budgets in the coming school year, and a coalition of education groups says the state needs to respond by increasing funding by at least 3 percent. "It is neither reasonable or is it feasible for these districts to ask their local residents for more resources," said Greg Vandal, superintendent of the Sauk Rapids-Rice School District. "We are, quite simply, under funded," he said.
It's all about Jesse. That is how upset legislators describe Gov. Jesse Ventura's vetoes of nearly $357 million in construction projects across Minnesota. "Petty, vindictive" is how Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe described it. Of course, that is not how the governor sees his actions.
ST. PAUL -- The newly established Red River Basin Commission needs money and authority, former North Dakota Gov. George Sinner told legislators of three states and Manitoba Friday. "I am pretty frustrated," said Sinner, who lives in Fargo. Sinner, Fargo Mayor Bruce Furness and others involved with the Red River updated lawmakers from Minnesota, South Dakota, Manitoba and North Dakota on the progress of a commission designed to be a clearinghouse of information about Red River flooding and related issues. About two-dozen legislators wrapped up a two-day meeting in St.
ST. PAUL -- Manitoba legislators fear the new U.S. farm bill will hurt their farmers. "It is, in fact, increasing subsidies," said Rosann Wowchuk, the Manitoba minister of agriculture and food. She said the law, recently signed by President Bush, "will have a negative impact for our farmers." Wowchuk's comments came Thursday at the beginning of a two-day St. Paul forum with two dozen lawmakers from North Dakota, South Dakota, Manitoba and Minnesota.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Jesse Ventura said his decision to veto funding for a new Trollwood Performing Arts School in Moorhead was difficult. Ventura Wednesday rejected the $5.5 million request -- along with 115 other projects across Minnesota -- that would have helped Trollwood move from Fargo to north Moorhead. "It was very tempting," Ventura said in a Forum interview.