The vacation is over. It's back to work.
I had planned to spend most of the day -- and night -- at the Capitol for the "greatest show in town" -- the last hour of a session. Alas, goodwill and bipartisanship decided to make a comeback over the weekend and the governor and all the pols gathered for the singing of the unofficial state song -- Kumbaya.
The initial reviews have been fairly positive. The exception is the process by which the agreements were reached. Says the Star Tribune editorial:
While there's much to admire about Sunday's agreement, the process that produced it was not pretty. It was the result of two weeks of private talks between Pawlenty and a handful of legislative leaders. They were shielded from public scrutiny while hammering out the year's most important decisions.
And yet, the process seems to have worked.
One of the reasons I started the Minnesota Fantasy Legislature last year was to provide some illumination on the work of 201 legislators, instead of just a half dozen or so "leaders." But maybe the reality is that a half dozen or so legislators, a governor, and a closed door is what leads to session results that -- as the Star Tribune editorial said -- "will move this state in a positive direction, in ways big and small."
The governor is quick to take credit for all the legislation he signs. The bill author is, apparently, typically invited to stand behind the governor when the signs the bill, and smile for the camera. But I've noticed that the governor rarely gives credit to the bill author in either his oral comments or in the press release from his office.
I'll just say my opinion on this is it's a missed opportunity to give credit where credit is due, as we all know the bills don't appear on his desk by magic, and the legislators put in a lot of work staffing and getting the bills through committee, especially if they need funding.
So Pawlenty's failure to give credit to the legislators that author the bills give me the impression that he's a grandstander that enjoys the spotlight and doesn't want to share it.