Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Sen. Johnson pleads for another special session

From the Star Tribune online edition:

The Willmar DFLer said a one- or two-day session should be centered on consideration of three major proposals for sports stadiums. But it also could include a package of laws to soften the blow of energy prices, a rescue of the Minneapolis teachers' pension fund, authorizing a new hospital for Maple Grove, and funding for highways and transit, all unfinished business from the and much-criticized 2005 regular session, Johnson said.

Johnson said the unfinished business from the regular session and optimal conditions for stadium-building provide the right opportunity. "The costs of construction will continue to increase, the economic benefits to the state are more positive than not, and this is the best overall package we're going to see from the Vikings, the Twins and the [University of Minnesota] Gophers," he said. "There are not state taxes, no property taxes, just local sales taxes and maximum contributions from the teams."
(Source: Star Tribune, September 13, 2005)

Johnson should’ve thought about the stadiums, new hospital, and transit spending before he shutdown the government.


At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Ronald Rington said...

There will always be unfinished business in the legislature. Why can't they do the job in the time they have to do it in. If the average joe doesn't get his job done in a timely manner, he gets fired.

At 2:34 PM, Blogger Kevin from Minneapolis said...


What you and others don't take into account is that "the job" of the legislature - setting the state budget - has more than doubled in the last 20 years while the time they are given to do it has stayed the same.

What does that mean? Conisder this.

In the 1984-85 biennium, state government spent $9.8 billion, a 19.1 percent increase over the previous biennium. By 1994-95 that number grew to $16.7 billion. The budget just approved for 2006-07 will total $30.6 billion.

In other words, while state spending has tripled in the last 20 years, the time given for the Legislature to allocate it remains the same. They start in January and finish on the first Monday in the third week of May.

You are correct in saying that there will always be unfinished business at the legislature. Some times it takes years to build up support for an issue. This year's child support/child custody reforms are a good example of that.

But suppose your workload increased by three times, would you be able to finish every workday in eight hours? I doubt it.

Those who complain about the Legislature not getting it's job done or not doing it fast enough need to accept one of the following as an acceptable solution: 1. State government spends too much money to allocate in 5 months and therefore state spending needs to be reduced to a level for which a budget can be set in that set amount of time; or 2. Because state government has grown so large, the Minnesota Constitution needs to be amended to push back the mandatory end date for a regular legislative session, most preferably to June 30, the end of the fiscal yeaer.

If you - the folks who complain about special sessions and gridlock - don't buy into one (or I guess both) of those two scenarios then you are merely complaining without offering a solution. Which would make sense, since that is what Democrats seem to be best at.

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To hold one man accountable for the shutdown would be like blaming one man for the Federal fuck-up along the Gulf Coast... :)

It kinda sucks that Bush finally admitted he was wrong, I really wanted to see how low his numbers could go...

At 9:36 PM, Blogger R-Five said...

We have repeated examples that Dean Johnson's word is worthless. There's no telling what other bills he would introduce. So were I governor, I demand a change in Senate leadership before calling a Special Session, assuming that new leadership could convince me of the urgencies.

At 9:56 PM, Blogger lloydletta said...

I thought he'd backed down from that. There's no need for a Stadium session.

Pawlenty should heed the results of the state fair survey and just say no to the Stadium session.

At 5:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

quick reminder...it was the Governor who first called for a second special session shortly after the 1st, then backed away from that idea.

At 8:01 AM, Blogger Republican Minnesota said...

Anyonomous- He never called for a special session after the first one. Had he done so, there would've been one.

As for only blaming one man, I'm sorry. I forgot to blame Sen. Pogemiller and Rep. Taxenspenza.


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