Letter: Legislation troubled by conclusion of sessionI’m extremely troubled by the way the 2009 Legislative Session has ended, with the Democratic majority in the House and Senate washing their hands of a $6.4 billion deficit and forcing Gov. Tim Pawlenty to balance the budget on his own.
By: Dist. 22A Doug Magnus, R-Slayton, Worthington Daily Globe
I’m extremely troubled by the way the 2009 Legislative Session has ended, with the Democratic majority in the House and Senate washing their hands of a $6.4 billion deficit and forcing Gov. Tim Pawlenty to balance the budget on his own.
I’m very disappointed by the leadership in the House and Senate. We basically spent the year twiddling our thumbs in the Legislature while the majority party continued blaming the governor for all of the spending problems they caused.
Last November, lawmakers were warned that Minnesota would face a multi-billion dollar budget deficit. In January, Gov. Pawlenty said the $6.4 billion budget deficit should be eliminated without tax increases, and told the Legislature that bills that included tax hikes would face a certain veto.
Tax increases were the only solutions Democrats could come up with, as they proposed tax hikes on your income, consumer goods, alcohol, tobacco products and many others. Meanwhile, they continued to spend more on state government programs.
“It’s similar to our legislative leaders going to a restaurant, eating the appetizers, main course and dessert, and then discovering they couldn’t pay for the meal. You can’t spend first and find the money later, and yet that’s exactly what the Democrats did this session.
The failure of the Senate and House leaders to reach agreement on revenue doomed our session. Their unwillingness to do the needed work left only two options: Sit here and not fix the budget or force the governor to do the Legislature’s job. There is no doubt that our legislative leadership failed the State of Minnesota this year.