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Pawlenty cuts bonding $313 million

Don Davis/State Capitol Bureau Sen. Keith Langseth of Glyndon and Rep. Alice Hausman of St. Paul tell reporters Monday that they do not plan a second public works funding bill after Gov. Tim Pawlenty trimmed $320 million from the first bill.

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.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.