Posted at 12:26 PM on March 3, 2009
by Tim Nelson
12:48: Seide departs and the official reactions draw to a close.
12:42: Eliot Seide, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 5, has jumped on the Republican caboose and walked up to the lectern as Seifert departed. "A loss of a public sector employee is a loss of a consumer on main street." Says he doesn't think "it's unfair for the folks making more than a quarter of a million dollars a year to pay their fair share." He says Minnesota has the "10th leanest" public sector in the country.
12:39: Seifert says he's working with DFLers including Karla Bigham, Phyllis Kahn and Loren Solberg to save "44 million here, 150 million there." He starts sketching out a plan to oursource state IT, presumably moving public employees into the private sector. He cites the example of Minneapolis, "not exactly the bastion of conservatism." Cites other states like Texas, and points out that IT giant IBM is a "Minnesota company," given its presence in Rochester.
12:37: Seifert on tobacco settlement money and the governor's plans to borrow against it. "He only takes half of the tobacco money and securitizes it. The question is is he going to take more of it?"
12:32: Seifert on the "four year" budget plan. "There's political as well as financial volatility ahead...Economically no one would have predicted two or three years go the predicament we're in now." Seifert says he has about "half a billion dollars worth in my sock drawer." He says he and DFLer Phyllis Kahn have a plan cooking that they'll unveil soon.
12:30: Senate minority leader Dave Senjem says the DFL leadership needs to step forward with their budget plan now. "Let's get every idea on the table."
12:19: Seifert: "Everybody is going to have to come out and say whether or not they're going to raise taxes and not do it on the Friday before Easter or something like that."
12:27: Marty Siefert, House minority leader, says "there's no more excuses as to why inaction is the theme of the day." Says the state has to come up with another 700 to 900 million more dollars.