Friday, May 15, 2009

Governor vows to end session on time

Yesterday at the Capitol
Gov. Tim Pawlenty said yesterday that he will use line-item vetoes and his authority to unallot to balance the state budget deficit. He said there will not be a special session or government shutdown. The Legislature has passed budget bills that leave a $3 billion shortfall between spending and revenues. The tax bill passed by the Legislature attempts to resolve that shortfall, but the governor has said he will not sign a bill with any tax increases.

Gov. Pawlenty said his intent is to sign all the omnibus finance bills sent to him, however, he has said some will be line-item vetoed. Without providing any specifics, Pawlenty said the end result will resemble his budget proposal in January.

Pawlenty did say he would rather work out a compromise with legislative leaders. "There's still a good chunk of time between now and midnight Monday. … I prefer to reach an agreed upon solution."

Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, responded to the governor's plan by saying Minnesotans expect to know where the governor is planning to cut. DFL leaders invited the governor to attend the Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy to discuss his plans in public. Majority Leader Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm, said lawmakers would like to see the details behind his plan.

Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis, said he thinks it's important to find a calm and reasonable solution to find an end to the session, and said this is a time to be states people and not make rash decisions. Pogemiller said the governor is showing a willingness to compromise by signing the budget bills.

We shall see what progresses today and over the weekend.

At the Capitol:
Legislative schedules are available for the House and Senate.

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