Pawlenty cuts bonding $313 million
ST. PAUL -- Fifty-two public works projects across Minnesota such as college building renovations and state trails fell victim to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto pen Monday, and legislative leaders say there is little chance lawmakers will send any more projects to him before he leaves office early next year.
"He basically massacred the bill," Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, said of the measure commonly known as the bonding bill.
Pawlenty erased $313 million in projects because, he said, the $1 billion bill legislators sent him spent too much.
"I am deeply disappointed the bill still spends nearly $1 billion despite my repeated and pointed warning that I would not sign a bill of this magnitude," Pawlenty wrote to lawmakers.
Pawlenty used his authority to veto spending on specific projects.
"As usual, I have been left to reduce spending within the bill to an affordable level," Pawlenty wrote. "The DFL-controlled Legislature seems incapable of prioritizing projects or simply saying no. So, I have again done it for you."
Langseth and Rep. Alice Hausman of St. Paul, who lead legislative bonding committees, said they will not accept Pawlenty's offer to bring forth a new, small, bill to resurrect some of the vetoed projects.
"You can't trust him," Langseth said.