Governor Tim Pawlenty went before the microphones Monday morning after all-night negotiations with exhausted legislative leaders struggling to meet the required adjournment at Midnight, May 17, and he spent most of his news conference crowing about his victories and the claiming that he (the almighty “we”) had forever altered the culture of this, “the most liberal state in the union,” one that had spent decades of too much government, too much spending and too much taxing. The questions remain: why can’t a veto-proof DFL Senate majority and a top-heavy DFL House majority, 201 legislators cannot prevail in enacting a balanced budget resolution in a time of huge deficits – where fair taxation accompanies severe cuts to programs for the neediest Minnesotans. Why do many advocates believe that it could have been far worse when the governor vetoed dozens of critical bills to assist real people?
Despite being told by the Supreme Court that his unallotting last year was beyond the pale of his authority as governor, Tim Pawlenty generally prevailed in enacting the very cuts he tried to make illegally last year. Why?
TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with lobbyists/advocates from several constituencies most affected by the budget cuts and what can be done to restore some semblance of resource supplies to meet the very real demands of a society so much in need of them.
• DEBORAH SCHLICK – Executive Director, Affirmative Options Coalition
• MARTY OWINGS – TTT/KFAI Capitol Correspondent; and Publisher of Minnesota Capitol News.