Faust: “Successful Session.” But Still No Budget Deal
Governor Tim Pawlenty made good on his promise to end the legislative session on time. At midnight the legislature officially adjourned, but there is no budget deal in place.
The House and Senate both approved tax bills late Monday night, both bills look to close the budget deficit through tax increases. Governor Pawlenty is likely to veto the bills. The Republican Governor said in a statement, “The session was a victory for Minnesota taxpayers because DFL efforts to raise just about every tax on the books were defeated. DFL plans to increase income taxes, sales taxes, remove the property tax cap, create a new Internet download tax, eliminate deductions for mortgage interest, charitable giving and even organ donation were deeply misguided.”
Representative Tim Faust (DFL-Hinckley) said for his district, the bill proposed by the House would have been the best option. He believes there was not enough compromise from the Governor.
Faust Comments on Budget:
Pawlenty will use his unallotment authority to halt spending and delay payments. “The basic responsibility of the legislature is to responsibly pass a balanced budget and the DFL failed,” Governor Pawlenty said. “They spent $34 billion when they only had $31 billion available. But politics as usual around this place is over. We’re not going to have a special session or a state government shutdown. Tough decisions are ahead, but those decisions need to be made if we are going to get through this difficult economic time and build towards a better future.”
Despite his disappointment with the decision on the budget, Representative Faust says this has been a productive session.
The session’s final hours included passing of a bill to allow the use of medical marijuana and a law that encourages stricter seat belt enforcement.