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 - A minimum wage increase lawmakers support needs to change before Gov. Tim Pawlenty can support it, he said Thursday moments after the House approved the wage hike. The bill would raise the minimum wage in large businesses from $6.15 to $6.90 an hour on July 24 and $7.90 next year. Minimum wages in small businesses would go up from the current $5.25 to $5.75 this summer and $6.75 in 2009. A worker younger than 20 years old could be paid less during the first three months on a job. The House passed the measure on an 82-45 vote.
A Minnesota Senate committee will have the specific task of looking into immigration issues. Sen. Ann Rest's State and Local Government Operations and Oversight Committee will take on those responsibilities, which previously did not fall under any committee chairman's jurisdiction. "Policies that concern the daily lives of immigrants to Minnesota seem to be an appropriate addition to the committee's jurisdiction," said Rest, a New Hope Democrat. "Overall reform of U. S.
ST. PAUL - The western Minnesota community of Browns Valley is due $2 million to help it recover from March flooding. Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Wednesday signed a bill giving Browns Valley money for public and private recovery. Besides the $2 million, an education funding bill includes a provision keeping the local school district's funding at pre-flood levels, even if it loses students because families move away.