A proposal made last month by DFL legislative leaders to hold a Minnesota Leadership Summit in order to find ways to “balance Minnesota’s budget for the long term,” has been unceremoniously rejected by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
In a letter (PDF) to Sen. Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller and House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the governor says no thanks.
“As we have witnessed over the past year, DFL legislators have done a thorough job of admiring our state’s budget difficulties, but have refused or been unable to take action to address them,” the letter says.
Pogemiller and Anderson Kelliher planned to invite “current and former governors, Senate majority leaders, and Speakers of the House to a Minnesota Leadership Summit.” At the suggestion of former Gov. Arne Carlson, they also planned to seek advice from nonpartisan economists and fiscal staff.
The plan didn’t move the governor.
“The state already has an annual ‘Minnesota Leadership Summit.’ It’s called the legislative session and it lasts approximately five months. This past year, rather than taking timely and decisive action to deal with our budget deficit, the Legislature’s DFL leadership wasted the first few months of the session. Passage of your final budget bills in the last few minutes before midnight on the final day of the session was indicative how how you managed the situation,” Pawlenty wrote.
“Rather than calling together former legislators and governors to rehash already established concerns, the Legislature’s time would be better spent coming up with reasonable solutions, negotiating with my Administration, passing bills and having them signed into law.”
I have calls in to both Pogemiller and Anderson Kelliher for comment, but no responses yet.