Capitol budget deals beginning to shape up

Copyright Minnesota House of Representatives

Look for white smoke over the Capitol. In the Pioneer Press’ Political Animal blog, David Montgomery sees signs of a final budget deal shaping up: “The closed-door meetings have begun at the Minnesota Capitol and legislative leaders have agreed — on a teeny, tiny part of the multi-billion budget. … They have agreed on how much to spend on agricultural and environmental programs and may come to accord on budget plans for public safety and judiciary programs Thursday afternoon, officials indicated. … Daudt, Dayton and Bakk will be able to continue to work out their differences over the weekend — the three are going fishing together during the governor’s fishing opener.” 

Well shoot. What are we going to do with all these “Draft T-Paw” yard signs? “Former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he isn’t interested in mounting a comeback for governor in 2018,” reports MPR’s Tom Scheck. “ ‘I declare myself retired politically,’ Pawlenty said. ‘I had a great run at it. I love Minnesota. I love public service, but I had a terrific opportunity to serve my city and my state and even run unsuccessfully for president so I think I had a full run at it and consider myself retired.’ ”

Has anybody suggested building more roads? “The Minnesota Department of Transportation said Thursday that congestion was up 2 percent last year when compared to levels reported in 2013, with traffic clogging the region’s major arteries 21.1 percent of the time,” says the Star Tribune’s Tim Harlow. “MnDOT says that without additional investment in the transportation infrastructure, the percentage of time that freeways are snarled will increase by the year 2025 and the number of hours motorists spend driving in crowded conditions will rise to 45 hours a year.”

We’re actually considering implementing this rule in our comments sections. NPR’s Ailsa Chang took a deep dive into the widely reported Minnesota Senate rule against making eye contact with anyone but the Senate president. Sen. Tom Bakk makes a decent case: “ ‘Going through the president forces people to listen rather than watch facial expressions and look at each other, which sometimes I think kind of inflames some of the rhetoric going back and forth,’ Bakk said.” As for who we have to thank, it’s not those stuffy Scandinavians, but the Brits: “Peverill Squire, a historian of legislative etiquette at the University of Missouri, said there are references to the rule going all the way back to the 1500s in the House of Commons. That’s about when rules were also put in place banning swords in the chamber. The idea was lawmakers shouldn’t come ready to fight each other. When debate isn’t personal, it’s orderly.”

In other news…

Now you can check out a Dutch master when you pick up your Dutch Masters. “Rembrandt at the gas pump? It’s another Minneapolis Institute of Arts birthday surprise” [Star Tribune]

Hitting up garage sales this weekend? MPR has some tips on “how to find treasure, not trash” [MPR]

…or you could go fishing. Sounds like it’s going to be nice. [Brainerd Dispatch]

“State takes over nursing homes in Faribault, Owatonna” [AP via Mankato Free Press]

Pot scare in St. Paul: “Empty pressure cooker leads to bomb scare near I-35E” [Pioneer Press]

Ely leading Saugatuck, Michigan in Outside magazine’s 2015 “Best Towns Ever” competition. [Duluth News Tribune]

“St. Cloud man arrested after Islamic Center vandalism.” He was upset about losing his cell phone. [St. Cloud Times]

Baby gorilla: baby gorilla. [Pioneer Press]

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 05/09/2015 - 08:55 am.

    I beg your pardon

    Minnesota voters announced loud and clear Pawlenty’s political career was over. Pawlenty did however have everything to do with it being over. Pawlenty used the Republican philosophy of kicking the can down the road and building a $6,000,000,000 debt. That was a career ending philosophy. On the same track are Walker, Bownback, Jindal, Scott, and Pence, etc, etc. They all can count their political careers over.

    • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 05/09/2015 - 07:41 pm.

      If only Pawlenty had made that

      Declaration in 2001. The state would not have had to endure 8 years of failure in the governor’s office.

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 05/10/2015 - 08:46 pm.

      I’ve always blamed Pawlenty

      For the brutal national economy that occurred while he was Governor. And especially the actually reduction in biennial spending that he oversaw which kept the debt from being even worse. The economy would have eventually replaced the money if only he had spent more and more at the time.

      • Submitted by Tom Christensen on 05/11/2015 - 04:00 pm.

        I always blame George W Bush

        for the brutal National economy during Pawlenty’s time. They both used the same philosophy of not pay for anything just putting it on the credit card and running up the debt.

        George W. Bush’s legacy may not be the legacy he wants but never the less he has one. It a legacy the Republicans want swept under the carpet. Much to the dismay of George W Bush he ignited the electorate but for all the wrong reasons. He claimed he would be a uniter and he turned out to be the great polarizer. He started with a massive budget surplus which he turned it into a massive deficit. He had a Republican party behind him and ended with a severely fractured Republican party and many of the senior leadership choosing not to run for re-election because they knew they could not win. He had a Republican majority in congress which he turned into a Democratic majority because of Americas great dislike for Bush’s policies or the lack there of. Bush policies and lack of management caused one of the greatest financial disasters in the history of the world. He alienated our allies and emboldened our enemies. He abused the greatest military in the world and their families by over using them. He brought down Americans financial system, his presidential cabinet, the Republican Party, the Ronald Reagan philosophy era, his supporters and his friends. George W. Bush always minimizes his performance because he says historians will write his place in history long after he is gone. He is wrong again. Americans have written his place in history already. He has been the worst president America has ever had. He will be looked at as a total failure and an arrogant dolt.

        Nothing Palenty did is excused by Bush’s wrongheaded decisions as Pawlenty was busy trying to look presidential at our expense.

      • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 05/12/2015 - 12:30 pm.

        You have a lousy memory.

        The national economy was not brutal throughout his terms of office, only the last 2 years. If there had been no ridiculous tax cuts in his first term, the state would not have had to use gimmicks to balance the budget later when the economy was in fair shape. Reduction in spending on the back of stealing from school districts was just to protect the rich from paying their fair share of taxes.

  2. Submitted by beryl john-knudson on 05/10/2015 - 10:16 am.

    Time out…”Rembrandt at the gas pump”…

    Probably the greatest idea I’ve heard for quite some time, bringing art to the people in a world too busy to enjoy it otherwise?

    Be it a Rembrandt to appeal to the public; a stop, a look and a little food for the soul whatever?

    Then too, remember poetry like a clean slice of graffiti on a fence, sidewalk…the pause most refreshing? Clears the mind and enriches the heart in the passing, yes indeed.

    I know a mother who would agree, as she said sometimes too often, “If you value life you value time and life is made of time.”

    ‘Time out’ too I might add and she would agee… and Happy Mothers day to those who celebrate the day…

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