Reflecting on a wild political year - Bring Me The News

Reflecting on a wild political year

A massive budget deficit, the longest state government shutdown in history, and a leadership-toppling scandal all mark the 2011 political year. Forum Communications' Don Davis has a timeline of significant events.
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A massive budget deficit, the longest state government shutdown in history, and a leadership-toppling scandal all mark the 2011 political year. Forum Communications' Don Davis has a timeline of significant events.

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So what's the big deal about a Senate majority leader anyway?

Amy Koch is out after a scandal involving an inappropriate relationship with a staffer, and Republicans on Tuesday are set to vote in a new chief. Forum Communications' Don Davis takes a look at just what it means to be majority leader or house speaker, and hold one of the most powerful posts in the Legislature.

State leaders scramble to respond to budget surprise

Forum Communications' Don Davis says Minnesota leaders were so shocked by the budget forecast that they didn't know how to respond. They planned, of course, to blame the other side for what they assumed would be another deficit. Now they're hastily rewriting their talking points. Both Dayton and legislative leaders say they'll allow the money to sit in the bank for now, which the law requires.

Sen. Amy Koch breaks her silence and speaks about her political future

Despite her "inappropriate relationship" with a senate staffer, the former Senate majority leader says she may run for re-election. Amy Koch told the Star Tribune she will return to the Capitol on Tuesday when the legislative session convenes. Koch stepped down from her leadership position on December 15.

Some day care providers worry union would take away their voice

One child care provider who has joined a lawsuit to block a vote to unionize tells Forum Communications' reporter Don Davis that she worries a union would take over all negotiations with state officials, leaving her with no voice of her own. But union supporters say the move to stop the vote is just a ploy by "cheap-labor conservatives" and that unionization would provide better pay and benefits for workers in the industry.

Local leaders brace for taxpayer angst as 'TnT' letters roll out

The state's new tax bill ends the homestead market value credit, which lowered property taxes on many homes. Forum Communications' Don Davis reports poor, rural areas will likely be among the hardest hit. Homeowners will get the details next month when "truth in taxation" statements arrive in mailboxes.

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