Posted at 7:01 AM on May 11, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
So here's where things stand. DFLers in control of the Legislature could try to override the veto. Republicans say it won't happen. Democrats will also point out that they need to more money to fund core programs. Gov. Pawlenty is saying no new revenue (at least publicly) unless it's his borrowing plan.
One week to go....
The House and Senate reached agreement on a HHS budget bill that cuts $500 million. It makes cuts to providers, hospitals and mental health services but does not cut eligibility. You can read the bill here:
The Minnesota Senate backs early voting. The House bill will include early voting and other provisions when it hits the floor for a vote.
An audit is due soon on Capitol security.
The House and Senate pass bills that fund projects from the outdoors and arts amendment money.
A joint committee will consider lifting the nuclear ban.
Tattoo artists question proposed regulations.
President Obama will make a major announcement on health care today. The Washington Post reports that health care groups are promising $2 trillion in savings.
Obama says he'll deliver a major speech in Egypt.
Iran is set to free Roxana Saberi.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar is aiming to protect tax credits for the paper industry.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison spoke to a Somali gathering.
Ellison also criticized arguments by bank and credit card officials that legislation limiting some credit card interest rates will be harmful to the consumer.
DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar is pleased that a proposed tax on French cheese has been dropped.
Posted at 2:36 PM on May 11, 2009
by Tim Pugmire
The final week of the Legislative session is underway with no agreement in sight for erasing the state's $4.6 billion budget deficit.
But Governor Tim Pawlenty tried to jump start the negotiations today (Monday) by partially pulling back on one of his key budget provisions, and agreeing to two others offered by Democrats. The Republican governor opposes tax increases, and Democrats oppose Pawlenty's plan to borrow nearly $1 billion against future state revenue. But now the governor says he's willing to reduce that borrowing by half. In a letter to House and Senate leaders, Pawlenty said he was trying to help facilitate a budget agreement.
In the spirit of compromise, Pawlenty also wrote that he would reluctantly agree with the Senate's position to not provide funding for the state's budget reserve. The governor had wanted $250 million. He also accepted the House position on delayed payments to school districts. In total, Pawlenty said the the proposals would generate $1 billion in revenue, which is the same amount contained in a tax bill he vetoed early Saturday morning.
Democrats are not embracing the offer. House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, said the governor's letter is a compromise in word only, and not a reasonable plan.
Update: Here's Pawlenty's letter to lawmakers.