Independent political news, information and commentary from the Capitol and the State of Minnesota.

Regular Session Ending Could Be In Jeapordy

May 16, 2010
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Marty Owings

With less than ten hours remaining in the 2010 Legislative session, Governor Tim Pawlenty's spokesman Brian McClung has said the Governor will veto a Budget Bill submitted by the Legislature. McClung says the proposal makes the states deficit worse than it is now and would raise the cost of health care.

Bills Passed, Vetoes Cast and a Session that Hangs in the Balance

Minnesota Is Broke

May 14, 2010
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Marty Owings

As far as many people at the Capitol can remember, this has been one of the more hectic weeks they've seen. Law Makers are scrambling to wrap up their work before the end of session which takes place next Monday, less than 72 hours away. Since the beginning of this Legislative session back in February, the budget has loomed like a dark cloud.

In the wake of last sessions unallotments by Governor Tim Pawlenty (R), Law Makers were expecting a deficit of more than a billion dollars, but they also knew at some point the Supreme Court ruling on the unallotment case could impact the budget. Even some DFLers were expressing concern that if the Court ruled against Pawlenty, they would be facing a huge uphill battle.

Emmer Misses Environment Vote - Kelliher Calls Him Out! (Full Audio)

Minnesota Capitol

May 13, 2010
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Marty Owings

At about 12:30 a.m. this morning the Minnesota House took a vote on the Omnibus environment and natural resources bill, also known as the Heritage bill. The bill passed, but Republican Tom Emmer, who had been on the House floor just a few minutes before was absent for the vote. Emmer, who is running for Governor, has missed a number of floor sessions since winning his party's endorsement two weeks ago. His missed vote tonight caught the attention of more than a few DFL Law Makers who began to Tweet about Emmer's absence. DFL Representatives Jeremy Kalin and Larry Hosch asked in separate Tweets, "Where's Tom Emmer?"

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."

DFL Proposes A Tax Increase - GOP Responds Quickly

DFL law makers today proposed a budget which includes a $400 plus million dollar tax increase. The proposal also contains a number of significant budget reduction measures including $147 million in health & human services cuts as well as $1.7 billion dollars in K12 education shifts, also known as delayed payment. The overall budget proposal contains roughly 15% in taxes, 25% cuts and 60% in borrowing.

DFL Representative Tom Rukavina said the, "we have to start somwhere....this Governor has to come around, last year he signed all the spending bills than unallotted them, where I come from when you do something like that they call you a cheat, a chiseler!"

The Governor responded quickly to the budget proposal with a press release in which he said' "The DFL’s proposed tax increase is like Jason in ‘Friday the 13th’ – it’s scary and it keeps coming back."

Coverage Of The GOP and IP Conventions

How Should The Governor And Law Makers Balance The Budget

Cut Programs
47% (15 votes)
Raise Taxes
13% (4 votes)
Cuts and Taxes
28% (9 votes)
Unallotment
9% (3 votes)
Shifts and Gimmicks
0% (0 votes)
Borrow Our Way Through The Recession
3% (1 vote)
Total votes: 32
5
Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Governor Pawlenty Calls Emergency Cabinet Meeting To Address Minnesota's Budget Crisis

Governor Tim Pawlenty

May 6, 2010
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Marty Owings

The Governor announced today that he will convene an emergency meeting of his Cabinet Friday morning to address the looming budget crisis. The Governor's spokesman Brian McClung said that the crisis was created when the Minnesota Supreme Court, "ordered us to spend money we don't have". McClung indicated that the meeting was necessary to discuss the possibility of a Government shutdown.

As a result of the Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that the Governor exceeded his authority on unallotment, the state is now faced with a budget crisis that could exceed $3 billion dollars. When asked about possible solutions McClung stated that because of the situation the state is in, it would be difficult for it to borrow money.

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