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And now for the spin: DFL leaders tour the state while Gov. Pawlenty stays home to make his case

With the exhausting and frustrating session now in the books and the major budget decisions still unresolved, the two competing sides will now try to win the hearts and minds of the Minnesota people.

At 12:30 p.m., Gov. Tim Pawlenty will address the media with his take on the session and review his plans to balance the state budget, including consideration of possible unallotments.

His message: The DFL majority couldn’t resolve the budget problem, so he’ll finish their work for them.

“The basic responsibility of the legislature is to responsibly pass a balanced budget and the DFL failed,” he said in a message last night. “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.”

Meanwhile, DFL leaders are flying around the state this morning to tell their side: They wanted a spend-as-you-go budget with tax increases for the very rich and some sin taxes, but the governor wanted to borrow against the future. And now, the governor gets to unallot to his heart’s content.

State Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis; House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis; Assistant Senate Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud; and House Majority Leader Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm, flew off this morning from Holman Field in St. Paul for:

  • 9:10 a.m. arrive in Duluth – media availability at Monaco Air
  • 10:40 a.m. arrive in Bemidji -media availability at Bemidji Aviation
  • 12:00 p.m. arrive in Moorhead – media availability at Moorhead Municipal Airport
  • 1:30 p.m. arrive in St. Cloud – media availability at St. Cloud Aviation
  • 2:30 p.m. arrive in Mankato – media availability at North Star Aviation
  • 3:40 p.m. arrive in Rochester – media availability at Signature Flight Support

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