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."

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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