A compromise is needed by Monday's end
As the final days of the 2009 legislative session are wrapping up we need to see some kind of compromise between Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the DFL majority or else face a special session.
It seems that neither Pawlenty nor DFL legislators are willing to budge. But this is no ordinary session and the state needs to see a budget for the next biennium soon.
On Thursday, Pawlenty announced that he would begin cutting, line-by-line, and find places to use unallotment.
"This year, politics as usual around this place is over," Pawlenty declared in a late Thursday afternoon surprise announcement. "There will be no special session. There will be no government shutdown. And there will be a budget that lives within the means of Minnesota's taxpayers and the revenues available to the state of Minnesota."
House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, called Pawlenty a bully for his actions. She said Pawlenty's plan would cut 10 times more money from the budget than has any other governor. And, she added, Pawlenty will have used unallotment three of the five times it has been used in state history.
The main issue comes down to revenue - specifically how to raise $1 billion in revenue.
DFLers want to raise taxes. The governor wants to borrow money.
Can't there be a compromise in that area?
Pawlenty has been adamant about his pledge not to raise taxes. But sometimes taxes are necessary to provide services that people expect to receive.
We worry what will happen if too many cuts are made to the budget.
Locally, the cuts would be devastating to the hospital. The school district could face more staff cuts or borrowing money if the timeline for state aid was shifted. Local government would see less funding and services that people rely on and expect could disappear.
We don't want to see a special session. But we would prefer to see compromise rather than the governor making drastic cuts and unalloting funding in critical areas of the budget.
Please, get together and compromise. It's the only way this budget will be successful.