CAPITOL REPORT | Busy Presidents’ Day for Minnesota legislature


Presidents’ Day is a state holiday, but Minnesota lawmakers and Gov. Tim Pawlenty won’t be taking it easy on Monday.

The House of Representatives is scheduled to debate and vote on their bonding bill, HF 2700, from Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul. The Senate passed their version last week, so this vote should move things into the negotiation stage, with Pawlenty threatening to veto the final bill if it’s too big and doesn’t have the things he likes in it, and House Republicans pledging to uphold that veto.

Expect a long debate going into the evening, as state representatives have a reputation for leaving nothing unsaid when it comes to these things. Look for Republicans to take shots at particular items in the bonding bill they want to label “pork” and for DFLers to paint this bill as a “jobs bill” that will put people (construction union members mostly) back to work.

Here’s the most recent spreadsheet showing what’s in each bill, and what Pawlenty wants.

Pawlenty, meanwhile, will be releasing his supplemental 2010 state budget proposal, which will include his ideas for solving a $1.4 billion state budget deficit remaining in the current budget cycle, which ends in June 2011.

Soon after, Pawlenty’s Commissioner of the Office of Minnesota Management and Budget, Tom Hanson, will release a February state revenue forecast that will show whether that $1.4 billion gap is expected to grow, shrink or stay about the same.

State Economist Tom Stinson, who puts together those forecasts, suggested on Minnesota Public Radio recently it will stay about the same, but we’ll get another read from Pawlenty’s budget proposal.