Veto From Pawlenty Sends Budget Back To The Drawing Board

Nite Cap

May 12, 2010
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Marty Owings

Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) wasted no time in issuing his veto of the budget balancing bill passed by the DFL majority legislature. That bill would have increased taxes on individual Minnesotan's earning more than six figures a year and couples making more than $200k. Pawlenty issued a statement saying, "It is nonsensical to increase taxes on job providers merely weeks after I signed a bill to provide tax incentives for Minnesota businesses to grow jobs."

The DFL Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher fired back at the Governor saying that, "The Governor can't keep pushing this problem away with his veto pen. Ultimately, he has to work with us, Minnesota's elected representatives, to balance the budget."

After the dueling press releases, public statements and floor session bickering both sides now must sit down across from each other and try to work our a settlement that will balance the budget. DFL Leadership, including Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller (DFL) has said that the Governor's plan of, "100% cuts is not acceptable". DFLer's such as Kelliher (DFL) say they won't back down any further and have already compromised by giving the Governor 85% of what he wanted in the form of cuts.

House Minority Leader Kurt Zellers (R) says if the state can hang on and support the cuts the Governor wants, it'll be looking at an additional $3 billion dollars in revenue next year, revenue he says will be needed to balance the next budget. Zellers says that the tax increases proposed by the Democrats are, "Simply going to kill jobs."

With less than a week left, Law Makers are working day and night to find solutions that might create an acceptable compromise. In addition to the budget negotiations, the House and Senate are working on passing the omnibus education bill.