There was back-patting all around at the Capitol on Thursday as Republicans and Democrats joined forces to approve a 16-month extension of a state health care plan for thousands of low-income adults, many of them mentally ill.
Republicans and Democrats didn’t get everything they wanted, but that’s the way compromise worked before it became a dirty word.
Then Gov. Pawlenty vetoed the bill:
The Senate will vote to override the governor. Then it will go to the House, where it passed 125-9, more than enough votes to override the veto.
But late this afternoon the Republican caucus in the House announced they’d vote against the bill and vote to uphold the governor’s veto.
Here’s the statement from Rep. Kurt Zellers:
“Governor Pawlenty wants to push for more reforms to the state’s health care programs, and our caucus will support that effort. We will uphold the Governor’s veto.
“Representatives Matt Dean and Steve Gottwalt offered real reform ideas during today’s floor debate and we will bring those ideas back to the table as we try to achieve a solution. This is difficult work. We’ll roll up our sleeves and get back at it.”
What does this mean? It means Zellers’ caucus voted for a bill they thought was bad, or intend to vote against a bill they think is good.
Ninety votes are needed in the House to override the governor’s veto. There are 87 DFLers in the House.
Suppose you have three Republicans sitting with you now who say they’re on the fence. Given your opinion of the bill, what would you tell them to get them to your side?