Friday, August 31, 2007

Pawlenty Continues Leadership on Emergency Relief

It has been a tough month for the state of Minnesota.

We've had a bridge, that experts said didn't need serious work for years to come, fall to the river while crowded with vehicles.

While the recovery effort was still under way, Southern Minnesota towns and roads were flooded out by torrential rain fall.

Throughout these tragedies, Governor Pawlenty has taken all of the bold, unilateral steps he has been able to take (both to provide the flood relief and get moving on bridge construction) that he has been able to do with the powers he has as Governor.

And he continues to show leadership as he seeks to work with allies and opponents alike to do what is necessary in an emergency situation.

So why are some Democrats willing to risk timely relief for the sake of the extraneous and trivial?

It is time that the public demands DFL house and senate leaders move ahead on what matters in the here and now, and leave all of the extras aside until we can have an open and public debate about needs vs. wants during the 2008 legislative session.

Because many of the Democratic leaders seem unwilling to narrow the focus of a prospective special session to the serious issues of emergency relief, a special session appears to be on hold.

Thankfully, the Governor is taking all necessary, prudent, bold and appropriate steps unilaterally to do what needs to be done in the near term to provide for emergency relief.

Pawlenty wanted to call a special session to pass laws on four issues: bridge safety, flood relief, property taxes, and transportation.

"Special session are supposed to be called for emergencies. And we have one," said Pawlenty.

But the Governor won’t call a special session unless he has in writing, an agreement from lawmakers that they’ll stick to emergency issues only.

"The governor wants to avoid a free for all slumber party where he calls a special session and legislators don’t leave," said law professor Larry Jacobs. (excerpted from KSTP article)

I'd like to challenge the Democratic leadership to let Minnesotans know what issues are so important that they:

a) Are worth sacrificing emergency flooding and bridge tragedy relief. AND
b) Can't wait until February for the regular session?

Just give us a list, and we'll let the public decide.

(Click here for the entire article)

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