Finally, a politician with the chutzpah to stop the spending.
From today's Pioneer Press:
If the Legislature won't balance the budget, Gov. Tim Pawlenty will do it all by himself.
And he will do it without a special session, a government shutdown or a tax increase.
Pawlenty said Thursday he will use vetoes and his power to single-handedly reduce spending to slash up to $3 billion from Minnesota's next two-year budget.
"I'm here to let all Minnesotans know that this year, politics as usual around this place is over," he said at a Capitol news conference.
"There will be no special session. There will be no government shutdown. And there will be a budget that lives within the means of Minnesota's taxpayers and the revenues available to the state of Minnesota."
The governor's action came after Democratic-Farmer-Labor majorities in the House and Senate passed budget bills that leave a $3 billion gap between spending and the amount of revenue the state will collect over the next two years.
The Legislature passed budget bills that spend $34 billion during that period, when the state is expected to collect $31 billion.
He said he would make the biggest cuts in publicly subsidized health care, welfare, social services, state aid to cities and counties and "probably a little bit in higher education."
A "significant" number of state employees will be laid off, he said. And he will veto "numerous" projects in the $300 million public works bill the Legislature passed Wednesday.
He said he would try to protect public schools from state aid cuts, but he indicated some school payments would be delayed.
DFL legislators were incensed.
"This is a democracy. It's not a monarchy," said Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis.
House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, called Pawlenty "Governor Go-It-Alone" and accused him of a "little bullying." She demanded he tell the public what he's going to cut.
"There will be no public input. There will just be a governor alone with unelected people whispering in his ear of what to cut and what not to cut," she said.
She asked Pawlenty to tell legislators today what he plans to cut, and she said she would hold public hearings on those cuts.
The DFL is laughable- they had a multi-city Misery Tour to get public input back in February an then waited two more months to get a budget passed to negotiate from....It's done. If you can't balance a budget without raising taxes in this economy...then it will be done for you. Like a bunch of teenager's with mommy and daddy's credit card spending away.
I look forward to seeing how this all plays out.