Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is proposing a constitutional amendment that would cap government spending to the prior budget period’s income level. DFL Senate Majority leader Larry Pogemiller and Sen. Tom Bakk say they are willing to listen, but critical of the Governor for being unable to achieve balanced budgets under the existing system.
Speaker of the House, Margaret Anderson Kelliher spoke with The UpTake’s Mike McIntee about Govenor Pawlenty’s proposed amendment to the Minnesota constitution that would limit spending in any biennium to the amount of revenue that came in the previous two years, calling the proposal more politics than policy.
Speaker of the House, Margaret Anderson Kelliher spoke with The UpTake’s Mike McIntee about Govenor Pawlenty’s proposed amendment to the Minnesota constitution that would limit spending in any biennium to the amount of revenue that came in the previous two years.
Speaker of the House, Margaret Anderson Kelliher:
I think it’s a very curious timed announcement. I know the Governor is traveling this weekend down to, I believe, Iowa and I think it’s another case where the Governor is putting politics ahead of the good policies that Minnesotans need. You know the strange thing about the Governor’s proposal is exactly what Senator Pogemiller said, we’re not clear that the Governor has ever proposed this himself in the budgets that he’s put forward to the legislature. He’s always overspent what is going to come in the door, even in the projections that we have.
And think the other thing is that folks would probably be interested in knowing is that when Michelle Bachmann was a state senator she had a proposal like this. I think it wasn’t modeled after the colorado law like this or the Colorado constitutional amendment like this. And she wouldn’t even come to the Senate tax committee to present the bill. So, I think it’s kind of interesting that the Governor is now jumping on this bandwagon.
What folks should understand is that this is even more restrictive than any of the other constitutional amendments around the country that have been proposed like this because this binds you to the revenues in the previous two years. So it’s almost like saying that even if the economy is improving, we would have to ignore the improvement in our economy and increased revenues. We couldn’t put those to schools or health care or anywhere else. We’d have to live under the old scenario. I just think it makes no sense at all. I don’t know if it evens things out at all as the Governor says.