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

General Assistance Medical Care - The Audio Files - Law Makers Speak Out

February 26, 2010
State Capitol - By Marty Owings

The fight over General Assistance Medical Care has taken some interesting turns in the past week. A bill authored by Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL) with Republican input was passed in the House by a vote of 125 to 9. That vote represented more than 80% of GOP Law Makers who supported the measure. Later that night the Governor used his veto power to kill the bill. The next morning, GOP Law Makers who had previously supported the measure, including the House Minority Leader Kurt Zellers, announced to the media that they were now supporting the Governor's veto.

Senator Steve Dille (R) comments on why he thinks it's politics over principle:
Click Here For The Audio.

Senator Mee Moua (DFL) comments on why she believes the GAMC program will be saved:

Senate Votes to Override Guv's GAMC Veto

February 25, 2010 - State Capitol
By Tanner Curl

In a 45-21 vote along party lines, the state Senate voted to override Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto of a bill that would allow 30,000 low income individuals continue their coverage under the General Assistance Medical Care.

With the DFL's supermajority in the Senate, the outcome wasn't a surprise, with the real test for an override to take place in the House. In that chamber, DFL leaders will need to convince at least 3 Republicans to cross party lines. According to state Rep. Kurt Zellers, the GOP leader in the House, that isn't going to happen. He's confident that his caucus, although split on the original vote, will tow the party line on the override.

If the override isn't successful, the state will transfer individuals from GAMC to other state health care programs next month.

The House is expected to vote on the override on Monday.

T-Paw to Veto Bonding Bill Tomorrow (Update w/guv's letter)

February 22, 2010 - State Capitol
By Tanner Curl

When Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced his proposed bonding bill in January, he made it clear he wasn't afraid to use a full veto instead of making line-item cuts, as he has in the past. Tonight, he made it clear he wasn't joking around.

In a letter to state Sen. Keith Langseth and state Rep. Alice Hausman, the DFL leads on the bonding bill, Pawlenty wrote, "The people of Minnesota expect us to spend their tax dollars frugally and wisely. This bill does neither." This comes as the Legislature prepares to send a $1 billion bill to the governor, when he asked that the total cost not exceed $725 million.

Read more on this story, including full text of Pawlenty's letter, after the jump.

Candidate Joe Repya Exits Gov's Race with some Parting Shots at the IP

February 22, 2010
Minnesota State Capitol - By Marty Owings

Independence Party Candidate Joe Repya announced on his website Sunday that he was ending his campaign for Governor. Repya states on his website that, "In short, it has become clear to me that, much like the DFL and GOP parties in this state, the IPM fails to stand by its own rules and principles."

I contacted Repya for more details on his decision.

According to Repya, the trouble started last night at a IP Executive Committee meeting when there were several motions being made around a rule change that would have given each IP Candidate access to the coveted party delegate list. He says since he was the only Candidate in the IP who pledged he would abide by the endorsement process, he wasn't happy with the move. Repya says, "They made a rule change driven by one Candidate and I didn't think that was right". Repya wouldn't say who the "one Candidate" was.

General Assistance Medical Care - Politics, Principle and the Poor - Video and Audio

Here is video of the DFL House Leadership who held a meeting to discuss their reaction to Governor Tim Pawlenty's veto of the bill.

More video and audio on this issue below. Click "Read More"

February 19, 2010

State Is Broke But Need Is High - What Would Minnesotans Do?

Minnesota Is Broke

February 18, 2010
State Capitol - By Marty Owings

This session, perhaps more than any since the Great Depression, has Law Makers facing huge budget deficits, high unemployment, a poor economic outlook and potential cuts that will impact tens of thousands of Minnesotans. This crisis should not be put into a neat little box of politically expedient sound bites, in spite of the frequency in which it is done. Calling the problem a "Democrat" or "Republican" issue might be tempting, but the issues are far deeper than that and so is what's at stake.

Seifert Picks Anoka Co Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah for Lt Gov

State Capitol - February 18, 2010
By Tanner Curl

State Rep. Marty Seifert has selected Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah to be his running mate in his campaign to be Minnesota's chief executive. During Sivarajah's seven-year term as an Anoka County Commissioner, she has earned a reputation for her unceasing support of conservative policies. The announcement was somewhat of a surprise, with most of the speculation surrounding state. Rep. Joyce Peppin.

Read more about this story and Seifert's announcement e-mail after the jump.

Hann Puts the Kibosh on 2010 Gov Bid

Senator David Hann
State Capitol - February 16, 2010
By Tanner Curl

The AP reports state Sen. David Hann has dropped his bid for the Republican gubernatorial endorsement. He cited a poor caucus night showing -- 5% in the statewide GOP straw poll -- as the reason for his exit. Hann will now focus his energies on winning at third term to the Minnesota Senate from SD42, which includes parts of Eden Prairie and Minnetonka.

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