Friday, May 30, 2008

One For the Record Books

Governor Pawlenty has long been known (as a legislator and now Governor) as a strong voice for fiscal restraint and a champion for the taxpayer.

Going into the 2008 legislative session, things looked bleak for the Taxpayer. A veto-proof liberal majority in the Senate, and a nearly veto-proof liberal majority in the House required particularly strong leadership by Minnesota's Chief Executive Officer.

Over the last few days, Governor Pawlenty has broken the record for Gubernatorial Vetoes in Minnesota, striking down intrusive and abusive regulations, and reckless spending.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed a heavily debated mortgage foreclosure bill on Thursday, officially closing the 2008 legislative session with more vetoes in one year than any other governor since before World War II.

As he completed action on bills sent to him by the DFL-controlled Legislature, the Republican governor issued his 32nd, 33rd and 34th vetoes -- easily breaking the previous record of 29 set by Gov. Arne Carlson in 1993.

Pawlenty's veto total was the highest since 1939, when modern-day records started to be kept, officials said. He also signed several bills Thursday.

"The checks and balances that are part of our system led to a record number of vetoes this year," said Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung.

"The governor felt it was important to aggressively use his taxpayer protection pen to make sure government is held accountable and lives within its means," McClung added. (excerpted from article)

A couple of the items stricken by Governor Pawlenty in recent days deserve particular note, even though they may be obscure or esoteric.

First, the Governor vetoed a provision which would have been a massive bailout and obscuring of the free markets in the housing and mortgage sector. Laws permitted people to get into homes they otherwise wouldn't have been able to purchase IF the purchasers were willing to accept the risk of a ballooning interest rate if they weren't able to lock in.

One can be agnostic on the wisdom of allowing the risk averse to get into housing purchases that might be too. . . well. . . risky given their financial situation. But I think we can all agree that people going that route understood the risk (or clearly should have). Ronald Reagan once said Government isn't the solution, it is the problem (paraphrased). Much of the "housing crisis" is a result of silly Government Regulations, and as Governor Pawlenty wrote in his veto message, "If Minnesota creates a statutory right for individuals to remain in their homes beyond our already extensive foreclosure laws, mortgage providers will factor this additional business risk into mortgage agreements and Minnesota mortgages will be more expensive. This will negatively impact the credit market in Minnesota by increasing interest rates for Minnesotans who are trying to refinance or purchase a new home."

Our housing market in Minnesota is tenuous enough right now without the State of Minnesota making it all but impossible for people to purchase homes.

Second, the governor line-item vetoed $134,000 to implement the controversial "California Low Emissions Vehicle Standards" (CaLEV) which wasn't even adopted by the left-wing Legislature it was so controversial. Yet they still tried to fund it with our money. Thankfully Governor Pawlenty stopped this with the flick of his Bic.

For those of you who haven't followed this issue, our state actually considered turning over our vehicle emissions standards to an unelected California board known as the "California Air Resources Board" or CARB.

(You read that right. An unelected organization in the state of California would have been handed the right to decide how Minnesota's emissions standards evolve).

Some in the legislature were so excited to shirk their own duties as elected officials and hand over power to some faceless group who we can't even adequately appeal to, that despite the fact that a State Senate Committee said, "no-way," they almost funded the implementation anyway.

Thanks to Governor Pawlenty for standing strong against these silly regulations, and outrageous spending.

It is nice to see the Governor Pawlenty enter Minnesota's record books as the foremost advocate for the taxpayer by blocking these and other provisions.

Thanks Gov!

(click here for entire story)