Editorial: A session to forget
It will be interesting to see just what transpires in the Minnesota elections of November 2010.
How will incumbent Minnesota senators and representatives fare? Let's just say they'll certainly have to get a heck of a lot more accomplished in the 2010 session than this just-completed one.
Democratic and Republican legislators spent more time dilly-dallying and criticizing than compromising. The DFL fell short in offering visionary solutions for making up the substantial budget deficit, settling for what in the end amounted to a bevy of tax increases that they knew full well would be vetoed by Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Republicans, apparently not willing to be outdone by their colleagues across the aisle, seemed only willing to stand united as a party, and with their governor. There was little reaching out on either side, with the end result being a stalemate.
As a result of that deadlock, Pawlenty will make cuts that will indeed save money at the state level, but make things far more difficult at the local and county levels. His decision to deeply slash health and human service expenditures will leave thousands without coverage -- and potentially create further negative economic ramifications.
There's no way to get around it: this session was an ugly, forgettable one, despite what DFL Rep. Paul Marquart of Dilworth might tell you ("It is the most relaxing session I have had. ... I'm satisfied with it."). Sure, Marquart secured flooding money for his district, but should he be "satisfied"?
As far as we're concerned, that shouldn't be an option this time.