Thursday, May 14, 2009

Governor Pawlenty Steps Up and Leads. (Again)

No tax cuts, no overly bloated budgets, no special session.

Governor Pawlenty made it very clear this afternoon that the political games and posturing in Minnesota have to stop. The legislature has had since January to prepare a real balanced budget that is worthy of a gubernatorial signature, and now that we are mere days from the constitutional deadline, it is clear there is no way the legislature will get that done.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he will use line-item vetoes and his authority to pull back spending to balance the state budget.

He said there will be no special session or government shutdown.

The Republican governor said he would prefer to work out a budget deal with Democrats who control the Legislature, but he says they are spending more than the state has. (Article Excerpt, click here for entire article)

The legislature put up a tax bill recently that they knew the governor was going to veto. Because of this, they cannot possibly (or constitutionally) fund all of the spending they are putting into the budget bills.

Practically, all of this could have been resolved by the legislature putting together a responsible budget months ago. But now that we are 3 days before the end of session, the only real way to come to a legislative conclusion would be to force a special session. That has its own, wasteful costs. The governor surprised the legislature today and is going to take the spending they give him and utilize the tools the constitution gives him to line-item what he can and unallot what he must.

So at the end of the day, Minnesota will have its constitutionally mandated balanced budget, and the tax burden will stay onerous (the Constitution doesn't allow him to cut taxes on his own), but at least not increase.

Thanks Gov!