More budget reaction

Other political leaders, including some DFL candidates for governor, are weighing in on Gov. Pawlenty’s supplemental budget proposal. Here’s a sampling:

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman

“If the Governor’s budget proposal becomes law, the quality of life that Minnesotans have come to expect will cease to exist. The Governor’s proposed cuts will touch every Minnesotan in a very visible way – from snow plowing to parks to police and fire. It is now time for legislators from both parties to stand up and block the dangerous path to the bottom that the Governor’s budget proposal represents. Nothing short of Minnesota’s future is at stake.”

Matt Entenza, DFL candidate for governor

“There’s a saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Since Tim Pawlenty took office in 2003, Minnesota has endured cut after cut – yet our economy is in the tank. At this point, the results are indisputable, but Gov. Pawlenty hasn’t learned. When we disinvest in things like higher education, which helps our state innovate, attract and create jobs, it is a failure of vision. It also brings to mind another saying: penny wise, pound foolish. We need more than a change of names in the governor’s office; we need a new vision of how to face our challenges and create opportunities for Minnesota to thrive in the future.”

Chief Justice Eric Magnuson

“I am disappointed in this recommended cut at a time when our base budgets are already insufficient to fund the level of judicial services that Minnesotans expect and deserve.”

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, a DFL candidate for governor

“Homeowners and business owners across Minnesota are once again being asked to bail out the governor, who has proven incapable of getting the state’s budget under control. For eight years the state’s fiscal situation has gone from bad to worse – and yet communities large and small across Minnesota have managed to structurally balance their budgets. Despite these communities’ hard work, if the governor’s budget becomes law, all over Minnesota people will pay more property taxes – while having to drive over unrepaired roads and bridges and having fewer police and firefighters to rely on to keep us safe. In tough times everyone has to do their share – but local communities have already done more than their share. As just one example, during the time the governor and I have been in office, state spending on his watch has risen 12 percent while city spending on my watch has risen one percent. We have cut costs, reformed government and forged new partnerships to create jobs, nurture our youth and keep people safe. The governor should take responsibility for his inability to do the same and stop passing the buck onto homeowners. In the long term, we should work in partnership with mayors, elected officials and community leaders around our state to restructure local government in Minnesota – but Governor Pawlenty’s budget today doesn’t do that. Instead, the governor has chosen to lob a political grenade while passing off his longstanding problems onto local communities and taxpayers.”

Minnesota Senate Minority Leader David Senjem, R-Rochester

“I applaud Gov. Pawlenty for recommending this course of action. My desire would be for the members of the legislature to follow-up with the additional tax cuts proposed by Governor Pawlenty and to reduce the expenditures that the government can no longer afford. Families all over the state are feeling the effects of the economy. As leaders in the legislature we must also act to slow the unsustainable growth by implementing budget cuts and reducing the overall cost of government.”

Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton

“Governor Pawlenty’s budget sets the right priorities for Minnesota and ensures that state government will live within its means. Governor Pawlenty’s budget protects funding for K-12 education and military, veterans and public safety programs. To compete in today’s global economy, Governor Pawlenty and Republican legislators are committed to creating a more business friendly climate through tax relief which spurs job creation, while continuing to stand strong against Democrat tax increases which kill jobs.”

State Rep. Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, a DFL candidate for governor

“Minnesotans don’t want a state where we are leaving our most vulnerable neighbors behind, but that is just what Governor Pawlenty is doing. Middle class families are feeling the deep squeeze of the current economy. The governor’s proposals to eliminate affordable health care for working Minnesotans, to cut quality child care for working parents, to make college less affordable just tightens that squeeze. Minnesotans have a more generous vision of the responsibilities we owe each other as citizens. As public leaders, we should enact a budget that reflects that value and that gives Minnesotans hope for a brighter, more secure future. Unfortunately, the governor’s budget does not do that. His political blinders continue to keep him from seeing that there are other alternatives to the cuts he is proposing. It’s time Minnesotans stand up and stand together for a better vision of our state.”

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