Posted at 7:13 AM on May 14, 2009
by Tom Scheck
MPR has found that the state workforce has actually grown since Gov. Pawlenty issued a February, 2008 executive
MPR has found that the state employee workforce has grown despite a hiring freeze. Gov. Pawlenty has directed Finance officials to review the policies outlined in the freeze as a result of the analysis.
A KSTP/Survey USA poll finds that a mix of gambling revenue and spending cuts are the most popular budget fix. The Legislature doesn't get high marks either.
State schools are spared deep cuts in the bill that passed the House and Senate.
New teacher lay-offs may have a broader impact on young teachers.
He also said the Attorney General's new security doors are ok.
HCMC is set to cut up to 100 jobs.
Lawmakers and the U of M are still quibbling over booze sales at the new football stadium.
Critics argue new ballast water permits are inadequate.
Instant Runoff Voting gets a Supreme Court hearing.
2008 Race for U.S. Senate
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid invokes Democrat Al Franken's name in a threat to the Senate GOP.
A KSTP/Survey poll said 70 percent of those polled believe Coleman should concede if the MN Supremes declare Franken the winner. I'm looking for links - send them my way if you find them.
AP says President Obama is considering six for the Supreme Court job.
Obama also prohibits the release of detainee abuse photos.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will take up health care by mid July.
A report finds that GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen paid his wife with campaign funds.
The Star Tribune reports on Paulsen's payment to his wife and adds that DFL Rep. Keith Ellison, DFL Rep. Collin Peterson and DFL Rep. Tim Walz also have given campaign funds to family members.
Paulsen also blogs about his plan to release funds from the nuclear waste fund as rebates.
DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar urges higher aviation excise taxes.
The KSTP/Survey USA poll says 57% of those polled don't think Governor Pawlenty should run for a third term. Again, if you find the link send it along.
Posted at 9:34 AM on May 14, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Dick Anfang, a political force with the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council is retiring. Mike Zipko, with Goff and Howard, sent along this note about plans to honor him:
In the midst of budget negotiations, legislators will take some time today to honor a Minnesota political leader who is retiring.
After the Senate goes into session today, they plan to go into recess and recognize Dick Anfang, the President of the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council. He was also Executive Secretary for the St. Paul Building and Construction Trades Council.
Dick has been involved in the state's building and construction trade unions for more than three decades. He officially retires July 31 when his term as president ends.
Senate President Jim Metzen will read a proclamation and the body will recognize Dick for his years of service. Dick will be in the Senate chambers when this happens. He has been involved in a number of projects including: Xcel Energy Center, Twins stadium, Gopher Stadium, numerous power plants, Flint Hills Refinery expansion, the Minneapolis Convention Center, etc.
There will be a special retirement dinner on August 10th to raise money for a scholarship fund at the Saint Paul College for students planning to go into construction trade-related jobs.
Posted at 2:07 PM on May 14, 2009
by Tom Scheck
DFL Rep. Ryan Winkler released a statement today criticizing Gov. Pawlenty for the state workforce increasing during a hiring freeze implemented by Gov. Pawlenty.
MPR reported this morning that the state added jobs since Pawlenty initiated the freeze in February, 2008. The report also noted that no one was policing the policy (that has since changed per Pawlenty's directive). Here's part of Winkler's statement:
Governor Palwenty continues to lecture Minnesotans that government needs to tighten its belt while Pawlenty's bureaucratic waistline keeps getting bigger. Minnesotans may be surprised to hear that facing a $6.4 billion budget shortfall Governor Pawlenty has failed to impose any meaningful limit on spending by his agencies. Governor Pawlenty proposes to ravage schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and the disabled with budget cuts, but keeps spending more and more on his own pet projects.
It's time for every Minnesotan, and the press, to ask Governor Pawlenty three important questions:
1. How much time does the governor actually spend managing the business of the state?
2. How well does the governor oversee his agencies and commissioners?
3. How serious is Tim Pawlenty about being Minnesota's governor?
You may have heard that the State of Minnesota was under a hiring freeze. It's true -- Governor Tim Pawlenty did sign an executive directive in February 2008.
But there is good news! If the Governor wants to hire you to a position that he finds beneficial, the freeze is all of a sudden lifted. Just ask the 20 public information officers and 20 education specialists that have been hired in the last year. You can even get a job driving a van or automobile!
So, if you are one of 16,000 people who are about to lose their job due to the Governor's proposed cuts to hospitals, nursing homes and education send your resume today. The Governor is apparently hiring.
I'm told this will likely come up during the Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy.
Posted at 5:21 PM on May 14, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Governor Pawlenty surprised a fair number of people this afternoon when he said he would sign the budget bills sent to him by the DFL controlled Legislature. But he added that he will use his line-item veto authority and emergency authority to cut spending. He said he will not call lawmakers back for a special session under any circumstance. DFL House Speaker called Pawlenty "Governor Go It Alone." Pawlenty responded to the criticism by calling Kelliher "Speaker special session."
Here's the audio from Pawlenty's newser:
Here's the audio from the newser by Kelliher and DFL House Majority Leader Tony Sertich:
Posted at 8:15 PM on May 14, 2009
by Tom Scheck
I figured you would want a primer on unallotment since Gov. Pawlenty announced today that he will use his emergency authority to cut government if a budget deal isn't reached. Session Weekly has an interesting look at unallotment.