Editor’s Update 3-15-10: House File 2700 (the Capital Investment Bill totalling nearly $1 billion ) was sent to the governor last week despite clear warnings to keep it around $725 million and focused on priorities such as veterans, military, and public safety. Over the weekend, Pawlenty did what the DFL apparently could not do and trimmed it down to about $680 million. A majority of House Republicans, lead by House Minority Leader Kurt Zellers, had asked the governor in a letter to cut spending to $200-250 million (down to only “critical” construction projects) to bring the DFL to the negotiating table later in the session. The letter said such a move would show the DFL that “it is NOT OKAY to whip out the credit card for a sculpture garden, for civic centers, for shade trees and for the rest of their out-of-touch spending.” The DFL conceded last week that it expected significant cuts, sending it to the governor’s desk after failing to negotiate a compromise last week. The tone of the governor’s letter is similar to a letter one might find from an exasperated parent to an out of control college student: he basically says, I told you what I expected and you ignored me (again). He noted that the bill exceeded the budgeted capital investment by about $275 million. “The DFL-controlled legislature seems incapable of prioritizing projects or simply sayng no. So I have done it for you.” You can read the governor’s letter detailing the cuts at MinnPost : http://www.minnpost.com/client_files/pdfs/BondingLineItemVetoLetter.pdf The Governor noted early in the process that a bonding bill ought to be one of the least difficult items to agree on. Not this year. While we commend the governor for doing his job, we note that the DFL -controlled legislature may have conceded too much of its authority to authorize spending. Not only did the DFL fail to do its job, but it added language to the bill that the governor said “makes it impossible…to exercise line-item veto authority other than in an overly blunt manner.” Well, we’ll take “blunt” over too much debt at this point, if those are our only choices.
Billion Dollar Bonding Bill: Governor Cuts to $680 Million
Posted by Kim Crockett on Monday, March 15th 2010
tags: Minnesota Budget
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