Monday, November 10, 2008

Park Rapids Enterprise: Pawlenty promotes green jobs

Don Davis, Capitol Bureau
Published Monday, November 10, 2008

Lower taxes for businesses that add jobs in renewable energy industries is a key part of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's 2009 economic plan.

As he was beginning a statewide tour announcing his $86 million "Green Jobs Investment Initiative," Pawlenty told reporters in a Capitol news conference Monday that he does not know how many jobs his plan would create. However, he said it would be a significant number and state officials predicted more than 114,000 million Minnesotans will hold such jobs in the next 30 years. About 15,000 Minnesotans work in green jobs today.

Green jobs are those involving the manufacture or other work on renewable energy components ranging from manufacturing wind-powered electric generator parts to making crop-based fuels.

Pawlenty's proposal, which needs legislative approval, would:

-- Create a nearly tax-free environment for businesses that create green jobs patterned after the Job Opportunity Building Zones program for struggling rural areas.

-- Provide a tax breaks to investors willing to spend money on projects creating green jobs.

-- Give companies that produce solar or biomethane gas (such as from landfills and manure) energy credit toward meeting the state's goal of providing 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.

Click here to read the entire article.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MPR: Pawlenty renews push to change teaching rules

by Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
September 23, 2008

St. Paul, Minn. — Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Tuesday outlined a number of education related proposals he plans to push for during the 2009 legislative session. It's the first set of initiatives from the governor for next year's legislative session.

The governor's package focuses on improving the quality of teachers by changing how they are paid, recruited and prepared for class.

Pawlenty proposes tying teacher pay raises to improvement in student performance. It's a step further than the QComp law Minnesota enacted a few years ago, which put more emphasis on merit in pay decisions.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Star Tribune: Pawlenty unveils plan to revamp health care system in Minnesota

Pawlenty's health care plan would allow patients to view records on secure websites and use debit cards to tap flexible spending accounts. For 50,000 state employees, it could be a reality by next year.

Last update: July 29, 2008 - 11:22 PM

You're sick. Achy. You've got a nagging feeling that maybe this is a recurrence of that bug you picked up a few months ago.

Imagine logging on to your secured personal medical Web profile, checking results of previous lab tests, doing a few quick price comparisons on treatment options, then using your flexible spending account debit card to pay for eligible out-of-pocket costs.

That's what could soon be in store for all Minnesotans and what will be reality for the state's 50,000 employees as early as next year, Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Tuesday in a major health-care rollout that he said puts Minnesota in the forefront of consumer-friendly medicine.

Speaking to a health care alliance group at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, Pawlenty said his goal is to give all Minnesotans access to online personal health portfolios by 2011.

Click here to read the entire article.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Star Tribune: Legislature adjourns after budget deal reached

Property tax relief, budget cuts and new public facilities add up to a session all sides called one of the most successful in years as the Legislature adjourned.
Last update: May 19, 2008 - 10:05 AM

Fireworks burst outside the State Capitol Sunday night -- a celebration of 150 years of statehood. But, for a change, few explosions occurred inside the historic building, after Gov. Tim Pawlenty and legislative leaders reached agreement on a budget that ended the 2008 legislative session.

The House and Senate processed bills to ratify the leaders' agreement, and both chambers adjourned shortly before midnight, with generally good feelings prevailing.

The closing deal means more Minnesotans will be covered by health insurance, more money will flow to public schools and nursing homes, a light-rail line between Minneapolis and St. Paul is a step closer to reality, and so is Minnesota's first new major state park in 40 years.

Property tax relief is also on the way, in several forms. Pawlenty and legislative negotiators agreed to limit increases in city and county property taxes to 3.9 percent annually for the next three years.

Click here to read the entire article.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Star Tribune: Pawlenty slashes $200 million from bonding bill

The governor trimmed $200 million-plus from the bonding bill through line-item vetoes. DFLers said the cuts hit their districts, especially St. Paul, hard. But Pawlenty asserted they were neither personal nor political.

Last update: April 7, 2008 - 10:06 PM

Complaining about "misplaced priorities" that would fund a sheet music museum but not a new nursing facility for veterans, Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Monday slashed more than $200 million from the capital investment bill presented to him last week by the DFL-controlled Legislature.

The Republican governor had raised the prospect of vetoing the entire bill, which funds construction projects and has been held up this year as an important jobs package in a weakening economy. Instead, he reduced it by 13 percent to $717 million, using 52 line-item vetoes. DFL critics contended that he focused the cuts on their districts, particularly in St. Paul.

Click here to read the entire article.

Monday, March 17, 2008

WCCO: Pawlenty Names Former Law Partner As Chief Justice

ST. PAUL (AP) ― Eric Magnuson, a former law partner of Gov. Tim Pawlenty, secured an appointment Monday to the Minnesota Supreme Court's top job, becoming the state's first chief justice in seven decades without prior service on the high court.

He replaces Russell Anderson, who announced last week he would retire in June. Magnuson, a noted appellate lawyer, had been in charge of screening judicial candidates for the governor.

"For 32 years, I've been thinking this would be a really good job," Magnuson said, with Anderson, the six other justices and relatives looking on. Magnuson, 57, cut his legal teeth as a law clerk to former Chief Justice Robert Sheran and as a clerk to Hennepin County District Judge Douglas Amdahl before he became chief justice. But he has spent most of his career in private practice.

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Pioneer Press: Pawlenty budget fix cuts spending, but also cuts sales tax

Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 03/07/2008 04:03:02 PM CST

Gov. Tim Pawlenty's budget fix comes with a twist: In addition to spending cuts, he's proposing a statewide sales tax reduction.

The 1/8th of a percent cut to the sales tax would actually deepen Minnesota's anticipated deficit, which economic forecasters say will hit $935 million. Pawlenty, a Republican, said today that the sales tax cut would provide an economic stimulus and cost the state treasury $77 million over the next 16 months.

"This is a modest tax cut, but it's a step in the right direction," Pawlenty said.

His plan seeks to use $250 million from the state budget reserve and shifts another $250 million from a health care fund to cover subsidized care for disadvantaged Minnesotans.

Nobody will be removed" from government health programs, he said. But he said a planned expansion of coverage would be canceled.

Tax collectors would pull in $102 million more by doing away with an exemption some corporations used to shield income from overseas operations.

Click here to read the entire article.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pioneer Press: Gov. Pawlenty predicts revolt over transportation bill tax increases

Article Last Updated: 02/26/2008 04:26:07 PM CST

Gov. Tim Pawlenty today predicted Minnesota taxpayers would revolt against the gas and other tax increases that Democrats in the Legislature imposed on them Monday by overriding his veto of the transportation bill.

"Yesterday the DFL had their day raising taxes," Pawlwenty said at a Capitol news conference. "Now the taxpayers of Minnesota will have their days between now and when they get to decide how they want this Legislature to run in the future and who's going run it.

Yesterday will be the day that began a tax revolt in Minnesota," he said with uncharacteristic passion.
The transportation bill will increase the gas tax by 5.5 cents this year and up 8.5 cents in future years. It also levies a 0.25 percent sales in the metro area for transit, boosts motor vehicle license tab fees and increases other smaller taxes.

"Yesterday the DFL caucus took a bucket of tax increases and dumped it on the heads of hardworking Minnesotans at at time when they're stuggling to pay food costs, when they're struggling to pay health-care costs, when theyre struggling to pay gasoline costs, and the economy is shaky and their worried about their economic future."

Click here to read the entire article.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Coon Rapids ECM Publishers: Pawlenty Vetos Transportation Finance Bill

Pawlenty vetoes transportation finance bill; Speaker Kelliher says votes for override are there

Friday, 22 February 2008
by T.W. Budig
ECM capitol reporter

Gov. Tim Pawlenty has vetoed the transportation finance bill passed Thursday (Feb. 21) night by lawmakers.

In his veto letter, Pawlenty expressed disappointment that lawmakers chose to ignore his “repeated” offers to work together on a compromise.

“This is a bill that goes way, way too far,” said Pawlenty Press Secretary Brian McClung, speaking for the governor who is on his way to National Governor’s Association meeting in Washington.

Standing outside the Governor’s Office,
McClung posed with the “Veto” stamp Pawlenty applied to the transportation bill.

He questioned why Congress on a bipartisan basis had crafted an economic stimulus package that included tax cuts while Minnesota lawmakers were raising tax.

Click here to read the entire article.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

State of the State Address

Yesterday, I delivered the State of the State address in St. Cloud. The state of our state is strong even as we are challenged by circumstances.

I strongly reminded DFL legislators of the need for government to live within its means just like Minnesota families and businesses are required to do. Minnesotans are facing challenging times with rising fuel costs and health care costs. Government should not add to the burden by demanding more in taxes. I also reminded DFL legislators of the availability of my “taxpayer protection pen” (aka veto pen) and my willingness to use it to control spending.

The prosperity of our citizens depends upon their ability to access good-paying jobs. For jobs to be available, businesses need to stay, grow and invent in Minnesota. Our large government and job-punishing tax structure in Minnesota reflects the demographics and economy of the 1960’s. We need to reduce taxes on income, investment, and entrepreneurial activities. I will create the 21st Century Tax Reform Commission to look at improving our tax system in a manner that makes Minnesota more competitive.

Once again, I urged the legislature to join me in passing legislation that caps how much property taxes can increase a year. This common sense approach has been used effectively in many other states.

Minnesotans are finding it more and more difficult to afford health care. During the speech, I also announced plans to make health care in Minnesota more affordable and focused on better health care outcomes. I believe these reforms can be passed yet this year.

Besides parents, the quality and effectiveness of teachers is the most important factor in determining the educational success of a child. Yesterday, I outlined several proposals to improve teaching in Minnesota, including: creating alternative pathways into teaching for highly talented mid-career professionals; requiring even tenured teachers to be evaluated and further trained on a regular basis; and creating a world-class e-curriculum so that students and teachers can have the best instruction available to them anytime and anywhere.

I also strongly urged the legislature to pass my proposal to further support members of the military, their families and veterans. During my speech I also outlined several other initiatives.

We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I am confident with your help, we will continue moving Minnesota forward.


Tim Pawlenty

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

2007 Campaign Finance Filing

(St. Paul) – The Pawlenty for Governor Committee is filing its Annual Report of Receipts and Expenditures for 2007 today. The committee will report over $850,000 in receipts and just over $640,000 in expenditures, with $375,285 cash on hand at the end of the year.

“I am grateful for the continued strong support my campaign committee receives from so many Minnesotans. Their support allows us to continue our grassroots efforts to promote our agenda and move Minnesota forward", Governor Tim Pawlenty said.

Campaign Political Director Trisha Hamm said, “The 14,000 contributions our campaign received in 2007 show support for Governor Pawlenty’s message which includes holding the line on taxes and requiring government to live within its means. The strategic expenditures we made this year to keep our supporters informed, build our fundraising capabilities and advocate the Governor’s strong agenda are all important investments for the future of our campaign.”

Monday, January 14, 2008

Pioneer Press: Pawlenty bonding proposal includes $225M for bridges

BY DENNIS LIEN Pioneer Press
Article Last Updated: 01/14/2008 09:51:49 AM CST

Gov. Tim Pawlenty proposed a $965 million bonding package today, with much of the money directed at new and improved roads and bridges.

"This proposal is fiscally responsible and it sets key priorities such as replacing more than 600 local bridges,'' Pawlenty said in a statement.

The package, he said, rises to $1.09 billion when user-financed bonds, trunk highway bonds and extra cash are included.

Almost 40 percent, or $416 million, would go to transportation. Of that, $225 million would be dedicated for local bridges and $30 million for local roads. The Central Corridor light-rail project would get $70 million.

He said the local bridge amount is more than four times larger than the amount in any previous bonding bill in state history.

Click here to read the entire article.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Minnesota Public Radio: Pawlenty targets illegal immigration

Pawlenty targets illegal immigration
by Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
January 7, 2008

Gov. Tim Pawlenty is renewing his call to crack down on illegal immigration in Minnesota. The governor's plan includes some initiatives that don't need legislative approval and some that do.

St. Paul, Minn. — The governor issued an order that takes several steps to deal with illegal immigration without legislative agreement.

It requires state law enforcement officers to work with federal agents to enforce immigration laws. It instructs the Department of Public Safety to review photos on the state's driver's license database for possible fraud. And it requires any new state employees and contractors who do business with the state to verify citizenship through an Internet-based system operated by the federal government.

Pawlenty said the steps are necessary to respond to illegal immigration.

Click here to read the entire article.