HB V

is older than it's ever been and now it's even older

6/12/2001

Minnesota Politics


A mile and a half away, at the Minnesota State Capitol, a special session is underway. The regular session ended on May 21 without eight major spending or budget bills passed, and unless there is legislation in place by the end of the month, the government will run out of money for the next fiscal year, beginning July 1. The issue is that the House of Representatives is controlled by Republicans, the Senate is controlled by Democrats, and neither side can agree on the amount of property tax relief, so here we are. There was an agreement in place, but when it came time for the conference committees to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the bills, the Senate got cold feet because most of the tax relief was for businesses and very little would benefit residential property taxes, especially lower and middle income residences.

Neither side wanted to get the special session called until there was an agreement in place, and so were taken rather flat footed by Jesse’s call. Personally, I believe this is a masterstroke of political discourse executed by Governor Turnbuckle; if there is a government shutdown he now can point to the early call and indicate that he called the session with plenty of time, which there is. Did I say shutdown? Yes, I did. Some legislative leaders proposed existing in the stopgap limbo of the no-shutdown shutdown of two years ago, where Clinton signed measure after measure keeping the government afloat during a stalemate. However, in another move of the pawn, Jesse today refused to consider temporary solutions. This is also a good move, although it contributes to the game of “chicken” that all sides are playing. This is already getting the state into trouble. According to the contract with state employees, three week notice is required before laying off employees, and that means layoff notices went out today. There is no legal way to furlough or give leaves of absence to employees that the state can’t afford to pay, which gives the state little choice in the matter – they must get the budget passed.

Here are my prescriptions for the various sides.
House Republicans: Quit posturing. Drop your demands to append the stupid abortion waiting period ban to important legislation. That already bought one veto. Act professionally, too. Loudmouth morons.
Senate Democrats: What are you holding out for? If I don’t know, then neither does Sven nor Ole (stereotypical Minnesotans, FYI) . You have been outflanked. Give up.
Jesse: Lookin’ good. Don’t say anything too offensive, and you’ll crush anyone when re-election time comes around next year.

Old Favorites

Wow… a guy who threw a pie in the face of the Australian PM during an anti-globalization protest has been sentenced to a month in jail. Pretty harsh. It must have been made from shaving cream instead of glorious, beautiful whipped cream. From the Null Device.

I don’t usually go for the comics that most bloggers do, but this one depicting Dubya’s nomination of Satan to the Supreme Court genuinely made me laugh out loud.

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