Pawlenty wants statewide vote on spending cap

Gov. Tim Pawlenty is calling for constitutional amendment to cap state spending. His proposal would limit spending to the amount of revenue the state collected in the last two year budget period. Pawlenty says his proposal would force future governors and state lawmakers to set spending priorities.

“We need to change the way that we budget in the state of Minnesota from what we want to spend to what we have brought in the door,” Pawlenty said. “Our proposal does exactly that. It is budgeting based on what is in the checkbook rather than what we hope is in the checkbook in the future.”

You can listen to his full news conference here:

Here’s some of the reaction to the proposal:

“At first blush, it does seem odd, that on your way out the door, with a pending $5 to $7 billion deficit, you would now recommend something that you haven’t even proposed to the Legislature.” - Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis

“If the Governor thinks this idiotic approach to budgeting is such a great idea, I challenge him to prove it by spending in his campaign for President during the next two years (2010 & 2011), only what he has raised for that purpose during the past two years (2008 & 2009).” - Mark Dayton, DFL candidate for governor

I think there’s some serious questions about if we do this how do we then account for all of the gimmicks (K12 shift, June accelerated sales tax) that have been used to keep the state’s budget in balance during the most recent difficult times.” - Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, candidate for governor

“Today, Governor Pawlenty once again put his national political ambitions above the people of Minnesota. Pawlenty walked away from negotiations with the Legislature last year and now he is proposing a constitutional amendment that would allow him to walk away from the ongoing budget problem that was created by his failed “no-new-taxes” agenda.”House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kellier, DFL-Minneapolis, candidate for governor

“I stand firmly behind Governor Tim Pawlenty’s announcement today and his bold effort to bring common sense to Minnesota’s budgeting process. This proposed constitutional amendment requiring that state government spending be tied to actual general fund revenue is government at its best – one that is both responsive to the concerns of the public and responsible with the hard-earned tax dollars that we are entrusted with.” - Senate Minority Leader David Senjem, R-Rochester

“Gov. Pawlenty is proposing that we govern the state by looking in the rearview mirror instead of looking to the future. This is a simplistic approach to tackling Minnesota’s challenges coming from a governor who has taken little interest in actually managing the state budget to meet our needs.” - Rep. Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, candidate for governor

“Gov. Pawlenty’s bold proposal for a constitutional amendment capping government spending is to be commended by all Minnesotans who value sensible government and fiscal sanity. While this idea will no doubt face fierce opposition from Democrats intent on hiking taxes and making government bigger, it will benefit taxpayers who must foot the bill for the state’s spending. The Republican Party of Minnesota will do its part to make sure this reform measure goes to the voters in 2010.” - State GOP Chairman Tony Sutton

“The Legislature has shown, regardless of who is in the majority, that it cannot control itself when it comes to spending the taxpayers’ money. I dispute the assertion that limiting spending would mean less money for schools, public safety or other core services of government. We can fund what we need to, we will just have to get serious about setting priorities.” - Rep. Paul Kohls, R-Victoria, who plans to carry the amendment

“Tim Pawlenty has once again proved that he is interested in gimmicks, not governing. Pawlenty has specialized in shifts, hiding costs, and calling taxes fees for his entire administration. His newest ploy is simply more of the same diverting Minnesotans from a real conversation about the challenges that we face. Everything Pawlenty has done this year is about his own political future, not whats best for Minnesotans. The timing of this proposal on the heels of his PAC fundraiser could not be more politically cynical.” - Steve Kelley, DFL candidate for governor

“Issues like this have failed in other states and really what it does is it forces cuts to quality education, health care and we could see more property tax increases.” House Majority Leader Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm

“I’m not going to hold back job growth and shackle our economy. This is nothing more than a gimmick, and when I’m governor, I’m going to end governance by gimmick.” Matt Entenza, DFL candidate for governor

  • Gary

    That’s right, the Dem’s are gonna tax you. And it you don’t like it, they will make you work. And it you stop being productive, the y have “ways” of making you productive. It you leave, they will follow you. They might even put a wall up so we can’t leave. They might even have to get their own “Che” to set us straight.

    “Who is John Galt?”

  • bsimon

    This is as ridiculous as the Governor’s earlier suggestion that budget forecasts include inflation of revenue, but not for spending. More shell games and gimmicks that shortchange the taxpayers of Minnesota.

  • Matt Nixon Entenza Quam

    Why in the world would the Pio-Norm Press call the biggest liar in politics, Matt “Nixon” Entenza Quam and has him what he thinks about the latest bone headed idea by the ‘governor?’ Matt “Nixon” Entenza Quam has no credibility talking about money matters. He is spending his wife’s, Lois “Pat Nixon” Quam Entenza’s back dated stock options she earned while working and denying health care coverage at United “we fight all” Health Care “reform” Group. Pat and Tricky Dick should give back the blood money, and skulk away into the night like the vermin they are.