Pawlenty calls on DFLers to get specific about tax planby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Gov. Pawlenty is criticizing Democrats in both the House and Senate for not saying which taxes they plan to increase to balance the budget.
The criticism from Pawlenty, a Republican, comes one day after House DFLers released a plan that relies on a $1.5 billion unspecified tax increase to help erase the state's $4.6 billion deficit.
Senate DFLers are relying on $2 billion in tax increases but are also still working on the details.
On his weekly radio show, Pawlenty said Democrats should provide specifics.
"We've known about the deficit since last November. They obviously are trying to avoid it, because they don't want to take the heat for proposing the tax increases. They want to pop it out in April or May when the session is winding down," said Pawlenty.
DFL House Majority Leader Tony Sertich responded that the Legislature has its own process to work through, which is different from the governor's approach.
"When the governor wakes up in the morning and looks in the mirror, he pretty much can decide what he wants to do as executive of the state of Minnesota. There are 134 members in the House and 67 members in the Senate, and we have to come to some sort of an agreement and we don't want to supercede that."
Sertich also criticized Pawlenty for making dramatic cuts to core services to balance his budget. Pawlenty also relies on one-time money and accounting shifts in his budget plan.