Posted at 7:49 AM on May 6, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Gov. Pawlenty and legislative leaders will meet behind closed doors this morning to discuss the State's budget situation in light of yesterday's Minnesota Supreme Court ruling.
The Court ruled that Pawlenty exceeded his executive authority when he balanced the budget on his own in July. The ruling means the state could see a budget deficit as high as $3 billion. MPR, the Star Tribune, the Rochester Post-Bulletin, KARE, the Pi Press and the AP have stories.
The court, which was divided on a 4-3 vote, cited timing in its decision.
The six plaintiffs are happy with the ruling.
MPR takes a look at how this impacts Pawlenty's political hopes.
Minnesota tax collections were slightly ahead of forecast in April.
Local government officials worry more cuts are coming to LGA.
The Education Commissioner sets a deadline for the Race to the Top application.
A state lawmaker wants specifics on Pawlenty's objections to the environment bill.
The Vikings stadium bill suffers big setbacks at the Legislature.
House Appropriations Chair David Obey is retiring.
MinnPost says Obey's retirement will be felt in MN.
President Obama pledges to work on an immigration bill this year.
Two votes break gridlock over financial reform in the Senate.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar said the Senate should force a vote on the bill.
Did the oil industry ignore safety problems with equipment?
Democrat Matt Entenza holds a news conference today to release his jobs plan.
Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher was at the White House for a Cinco de Mayo event.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Pawlenty was on Fox and Friends yesterday morning.
MPR's Midmorning will feature DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, GOP Rep. Paul Kohls and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak will be on MPR's Midmorning to discuss the impact of the Minnesota Supreme Court's decision on the state budget.
The show is on at 9am.
This morning's closed door budget meeting with Gov. Tim Pawlenty and legislative leaders did not produce a budget agreement, but it did highlight a potential budget crisis.
Following the hour-long meeting, Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis, told reporters that he was told the state could run out of cash as soon as next week.
"Apparently the cash flow situation is a lot worse than we were led to believe," Pogemiller said.
Wednesday's state supreme court ruling against some of Pawlenty's unilateral budget cuts in 2009 has complicated this year's state budget. It's also created some immediate problems for the state check book.
Pawlenty's spokesman Brian McClung told reporters that state could face a cash flow crisis if a judge orders the state to repay any other party that lost funding under last year's budget fix. The original lawsuit was specific to cuts to a nutrition program. Concerned that other claims could follow, McClung said the state check book is already close to its minimum cushion of $200 million.
"If a judge ordered the state to back pay, we don't have the money to do that," McClung said. "And so, not only would we be below the $200 million cushion, we would be at zero. And that is clearly a position that the state has never faced."
McClung said legislators could head off the crisis by ratifying the governor's 2009 unallotments. But DFL leaders are not embracing Pawlenty's request.
"We have grave concerns about passing that unilateral plan," said House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, who is also running for governor.
House and Senate Republican leaders said they believe a budget solution can still come from spending cuts alone. House Minority Leader Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, warned against a DFL attempt raise taxes.
"This is as serious as a heart attack, Zellers said. "We are in a dire economic strait. You add on to the economic burden of Minnesota families of Minnesota businesses, and this could get exponentially worse in the next year or two."
Legislative leaders are scheduled to meet again with Pawlenty at 3:00 p.m.
Gov. Pawlenty's spokesman, Brian McClung, said Gov. Pawlenty has canceled this weekend's trip to South Carolina. The decision was made in light of a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that ruled his unilateral budget cuts were unlawful.
Pawlenty, a possible candidate for the White House in 2012, was scheduled to speak at two fundraisers in Columbia, South Carolina this weekend.
Posted at 5:15 PM on May 6, 2010
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: MN Legislature
A proposal for an Arizona-style immigration law has surfaced in the Minnesota House.
Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Wabasha, introduced a bill today that would allow law enforcement to stop people who they suspect to be illegal immigrants. The bill would also make failure to carry immigration documents a crime.
The chair of the House Public Safety Policy Committee said a hearing on the bill is unlikely with 10 days left in the session.
"I have not yet had the opportunity to review the proposed legislation," said Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center. "Further, Rep. Drazkowski has not yet requested a hearing, the bill has no Senate companion and committee deadlines have passed."
It's been a busy day but I wanted to make sure we put up the video of Democrat Matt Entenza's news conference.
Entenza announced his plan to create jobs if he's elected at a Capitol news conference. The candidate for governor said he intends to accomplish his goal by focusing on clean energy, weatherization and financial investment. You can read the news release here.
Entenza also said during the news conference that he would not support lifting a ban on new nuclear power plants in Minnesota. He made those comments during a q and a with reporters.
A KSTP/Survey USA poll shows that Republican Tom Emmer leads his three DFL rivals in the race for governor. I-P candidate Tom Horner, who has yet to win his party's endorsement, hovers around ten percent in the poll.
It should be noted that the poll was put in the field right after Emmer won the GOP endorsement (Checking on this. I thought broadcast showed polling dates but it wasn't clear after I watched a second time).
KSTP has a story on the poll here.
Here are the results:
Tom Emmer (R) 41%
Margaret Anderson Kelliher (D) 33%
Tom Horner (I-P) 9%
Tom Emmer (R) 41%
Mark Dayton (D) 34%
Tom Horner (I-P) 9%
Tom Emmer (R) 41%
Matt Entenza (D) 31%
Tom Horner (I-P) 10%
588 likely voters polled
MOE +/- 4.1%
36% of those polled say they're Republicans.
35% of those polled say they're Democrats.
24% of those polled say they're independents.