Pawlenty vetoes tax bill

The governor vetoed the big tax bill early Saturday morning, shortly before the governor went fishing.

Under the Legislature’s plan, taxes would rise on alcohol, credit card companies that charge high interest rates and couples earning more than $250,000.

The House can — and will, probably — try to override the veto and most of the media experts focus on the need to get three Republicans to defect to their side, presuming that all the DFLers vote for the override. But will they?

Here’s the roll call (courtesy of the Associated Press)



Anderson (St. Paul); Bakk (Cook); Berglin (Minneapolis); Betzold

(Fridley); Bonoff (Minnetonka); Carlson (Eagan); Chaudhary

(Fridley); Clark (St. Cloud); Cohen (St. Paul); Dahle (Northfield);

Dibble (Minneapolis); Doll (Burnsville); Erickson Ropes (Winona);

Fobbe (Zimmerman); Foley (Coon Rapids); Higgins (Minneapolis);

Kelash (Minneapolis); Kubly (Granite Falls); Langseth (Glyndon);

Latz (St. Louis Park); Lourey (Kerrick); Lynch (Rochester); Marty

(Roseville); Metzen (South St. Paul); Moua (St. Paul); Murphy (Red

Wing); Olseen (Harris); Olson, M. (Bemidji); Pappas (St. Paul);

Pogemiller (Minneapolis); Prettner Solon (Duluth); Rest (New Hope);

Rummel (White Bear Lake); Saltzman (Woodbury); Saxhaug (Grand

Rapids); Scheid (Brooklyn Park); Sheran (Mankato); Sieben

(Newport); Skoe (Clearbrook); Skogen (Hewitt); Stumpf (Plummer);

Torres Ray (Minneapolis); Vickerman (Tracy); Wiger (Maplewood)


Sparks (Austin); Tomassoni (Chisholm)


Day (Owatonna); Fischbach (Paynesville); Frederickson (New Ulm);

Gerlach (Apple Valley); Gimse (Willmar); Hann (Eden Prairie);

Ingebrigtsen (Alexandria); Johnson (Ham Lake); Jungbauer (East

Bethel); Koch (Buffalo); Koering (Fort Ripley); Limmer (Maple

Grove); Michel (Edina); Olson, G. (Minnetrista); Ortman

(Chanhassen); Pariseau (Farmington); Senjem (Rochester); Vandeveer

(Forest Lake)


Dille (Dassel); Robling (Jordan); Rosen (Fairmont)



Anzelc (Balsam Twp); Atkins (Inver Grove Heights); Benson

(Minnetonka); Bigham (Cottage Grove); Bly (Northfield); Brown

(Moscow Twp); Brynaert (Mankato); Bunn (Lake Elmo); Carlson

(Crystal); Champion (Minneapolis); Clark (Minneapolis); Davnie

(Minneapolis); Dill (Crane Lake); Dittrich (Champlin); Doty

(Royalton); Eken (Twin Valley); Falk (Murdock); Faust (Hinckley);

Fritz (Faribault); Gardner (Shoreview); Greiling (Roseville);

Hansen (South St. Paul); Hausman (St. Paul); Haws (St. Cloud);

Hayden (Minneapolis); Hilstrom (Brooklyn Center); Hilty

(Finlayson); Hornstein (Minneapolis); Hortman (Brooklyn Park);

Hosch (St. Joseph); Huntley (Duluth); Jackson (Milaca); Johnson

(St. Paul); Juhnke (Willmar); Kahn (Minneapolis); Kalin (North

Branch); Kath (Owatonna); Kelliher (Minneapolis); Knuth (New

Brighton); Koenen (Clara City); Laine (Columbia Heights);

Lenczewski (Bloomington); Lesch (St. Paul); Liebling (Rochester);

Lieder (Crookston); Lillie (North St. Paul); Loeffler

(Minneapolis); Mahoney (St. Paul); Mariani (St. Paul); Marquart

(Dilworth); Masin (Eagan); Morgan (Burnsville); Morrow (St. Peter);

Mullery (Minneapolis); Murphy, E. (St. Paul); Murphy, M.

(Hermantown); Nelson (Brooklyn Park); Newton (Coon Rapids); Norton

(Rochester); Obermueller (Eagan); Olin (Thief River Falls); Otremba

(Long Prairie); Paymar (St. Paul); Persell (Bemidji); Peterson (New

Hope); Poppe (Austin); Reinert (Duluth); Rosenthal (Edina);

Rukavina (Virginia); Ruud (Minnetonka); Sailer (Park Rapids);

Scalze (Little Canada); Sertich (Chisholm); Simon (St. Louis Park);

Slawik (Maplewood); Slocum (Richfield); Solberg (Grand Rapids);

Sterner (Rosemount); Swails (Woodbury); Thao (St. Paul); Thissen

(Minneapolis); Tillberry (Fridley); Wagenius (Minneapolis); Ward

(Brainerd); Welti (Plainview); Winkler (Golden Valley)


Pelowski (Winona)


Abeler (Anoka); Anderson, B. (Buffalo Twp); Anderson, P.

(Starbuck); Anderson, S. (Plymouth); Beard (Shakopee); Brod (New

Prague); Buesgens (Jordan); Cornish (Good Thunder); Davids

(Preston); Dean (Dellwood); Demmer (Hayfield); Dettmer (Forest

Lake); Doepke (Orono); Downey (Edina); Drazkowski (Wabasha);

Eastlund (Isanti); Emmer (Delano); Garofalo (Farmington); Gottwalt

(St. Cloud); Gunther (Fairmont); Hackbarth (Cedar); Hamilton

(Mountain Lake); Holberg (Lakeville); Hoppe (Chaska); Howes

(Walker); Kelly (Red Wing); Kiffmeyer (Big Lake); Kohls (Victoria);

Lanning (Moorhead); Loon (Eden Prairie); Mack (Apple Valley);

McNamara (Hastings); Murdock (Ottertail); Nornes (Fergus Falls);

Peppin (Rogers); Sanders (Blaine); Scott (Andover); Seifert

(Marshall); Severson (Sauk Rapids); Smith (Mound); Torkelson

(Nelson Twp); Urdahl (Grove City); Westrom (Elbow Lake); Zellers

(Maple Grove);


Magnus (Slayton); McFarlane (White Bear Lake); Shimanski (Silver


Assuming the House doesn’t override the veto, how far should the DFL go to stand on principle? Most of the Capitol press corps I’ve talked with say not far, since it could lead to a government shutdown, which would put state workers out of work and nobody in the DFL wants to anger the state workers.

But if we’re talking about throwing 100,000 people off health care and closing hospitals, is that worth angering state workers? Or not?

What say you?

  • RF

    It’s frustrating that the governor refuses to negotiate at all and simply vetoes anything that raises revenues. The plan seems, to me, to be a moderate proposal that spreads increases among those who can most afford it. But the governor drew his line in the sand and refuses to budge. That’s not leadership, that’s taking his ball and going home.

  • Paul

    I won’t pretend to speak for state workers, but shut downs and budget crises are not an uncommon occurrence since the age of T-Paw so I don’t think it would surprise anyone. Didn’t they pass a “lights on” bill a couple years ago?

  • mnguy

    TPaw is running for president using the Ronald Reagan “no new taxes” film flam trying to appeal to the dozen or so moderate republicans who still believe in fiscal responsibility. Trouble is that fiscal conservatives were long ago ousted from the the repub party and have been replaced by radical right wing bible thumpers who could care less if hospitals close and “poor” people are thrown out.

    He’s no moderate and the disorganized DFL majority has failed to sell the tax bill to Minnesota taxpayers. A shutdown is a victory for the Grover Norquist faction which would rather see the whole state government stop than fund the values of the majority.

    It’s ugly and the DFL leaders are being played for fools.

  • Hooray for Governor Pawlenty. I will hoist a “Vito” sandwich at Jimmy Johns in your honor later today.

    RF: The governor refuses to negotiate? The DFL took offices living out Cy Thao’s classic maxim (“when you win, you keep your money. When we win, we take your money!”); they used their majority as a cudgel.

    mnguy: the DFL leaders don’t need to be “played for” anything. They approached this whole exercise from a standpoint of unfettered hubris. And Pawlenty is doing what he was sent to office to do; he ran on a “no new taxes” pledge, and to his credit he’s stayed with it. And yes, he is trying to burnish his credentials with the GOP’s conservative base (with which it’s pretty weak because, DFL shrieking points aside, he is quite moderate).

    So yeah, it sure doesn’t hurt him. But here’s the important part; it was why he was elected; to protect the minority from the rapacity of the majority.

    Maybe a Vito with peppers.

  • Joanna

    Somebody has to stand up to this cold-hearted bully once and for all. This is the time, legislators; don’t be cowards! Pawlenty has systematically plundered our cities’ budgets and forced raises in local services costs, fees and property taxes even as he mortgages our children’s future to play to a hardcore minority of “I’ve got mine, screw the rest of you” ideologues. Enough, already! The RNC is holding our Senate seat hostage to their national priorities, and the Gov. is doing the same. The legislature needs to represent ALL the people of Minnesota since our governor only cares to represent his rich buddies and his national ambitions.

  • Bonnie

    I haven’t been following this closely because it just isn’t any fun. I would, however, like to be pointed to a good analysis of Pawlenty’s solution that apparently includes a lot of borrowing to balance the budget??? Anybody?? I’m leery of the borrowing vs. pay now to cover anything other than very long-term investments i.e. infrastructure.

  • MR

    In my previous job for the state (in IT), I remember that we lost roughly 5 weeks of productivity around the state shutdown because we had to spend so much time preparing everything to shut down and then bringing everything back up correctly.

  • Michael Gardos Reid

    Way to go Governor,

    The loss of thousands of jobs while people go begging for health care will be on your tab when you leave for your high power consulting position in the private sector.

    Enjoy your crappies,

    Michael Gardos Reid doing groups in locked psych


  • KPM

    This is the first time I’ve commented on Newscut, but I feel compelled to mention something I wrote almost a month ago on this very topic. I don’t know if we’re allowed to post links in comments (I haven’t seen it done before), but here it is:

    Waiting for the Midterm Election.

    For those in the anti-T-Paw camp, enjoy. For those who are with him, push through the first paragraphs before you dismiss it. I think there are some salient points in the second half.

  • Bob Collins

    Absolutely! I love folks who post relevant links. But you can actually put the html in to make it easy for people. I’ve adjusted your link to allow that. Comment more often!

  • Aaron

    This bill needs to be dissected. To raise the alcohol tax because it hasn’t been raised in X number of years is ridiculous. The mind set, “whats laying around here that hasn’t been raised in while” is a poor reason to raise the tax. MN has the highest alcohol tax rate than all of our bordering states. Alot of MN dollars are taken across the border to get cheaper drinks. Encourage the money to stay in our state so MN will prosper.

    I would like to see the credit card legislation to be enacted. Predatory lending needs to be terminated or tamed as much as possible.

    Kill the alcohol tax legislation then lets go have a beer.

  • bsimon

    “What say you?”

    Shut ‘er down. The governor’s plan to borrow money to pay for expenses is like borrowing money to pay for groceries. When that bill comes due, you’ll have to budget for both the loan payback AND the groceries you need then. This is fiscally irresponsible. It is shocking to me that self-professed fiscal conservatives think borrowing to balance the budget is sound fiscal policy. Not surprisingly, DFL leadership is apparently incapable of making this point to the voters.

  • Fed up with the Spending

    Good for you, T-Paw!

    This is no responsible bill. The state has been acting like someone who keeps buying stuff even those his hours at work have been cut–and then expects other people to make up the difference.

    It’s time for everyone who dips into their neighbor’s pockets, through the agency of government, to do some cutting back.

  • Elizabeth T

    “This is no responsible bill”? Show me the last one which was. Any administration.

    I don’t care how Gov. P got into office. I didn’t vote for him, and therefore “that’s why he got elected” is null & void; a lot of us didn’t vote for him. (yes, he won, I’m not whining, just pointing out that he didn’t get a majority of votes.)

    I sit & shake my head because I’m too tired to run up & down the hall screaming in frustration.

    Bills like this are impossible, no matter who’s writing/vetoing them. There are too many points trying to please too many people; the result of which is that no one is served and no one is happy.

    I have never seen a rational argument for why ‘no taxes’ is a prudent way to run a large government. If there is one, please let me know. Then perhaps let the legislature know.

    The GOP mantra is that I, as a good little Capitalist, am going to financially succeed only by making more money. I.e., increasing my income. How is it that this philosophy is valid for me, the individual, but not the government? It is disengenuous. What the government really should fess up to is that their platform is “less services” and “the government needs to do less”. If that’s really what the GOP wants, and that’s really what Gov. P wants, then they should just say so.

    And, yes, I am a Capitalist; unlike many Republicans, however, I am not a zealot ideologue (nor am I a republican).

  • And I have never seen a rational argument for raising taxes still further for a state that triples its spending every 20 years.

    What great tasks did we leave undone 20 years ago? What great tasks does Wisconsin leave undone, spending billions less to serve hundreds of thousands more?

  • tiredboomer

    // And I have never seen a rational argument for raising taxes still further for a state that triples its spending every 20 years.//

    Let’s see, using my handy financial calculator. Tripling a dollar’s value in 20 years works out to about a 5.5% annual growth rate. Don’t know what the rate of inflation has been for the past 20 years but the economy of the mid and late 90’s was hot, we all know what’s happened to the price of medical care, not to mention the 00’s financial bubble eating into the value of the dollar. A 5.5% rate of growth minus the inflation rate can’t translate into much real growth at all.

    A “no new tax” pledge is nothing more than a cynically deceptive attempt to be elected by people who know better (or if they don’t know better, are incompetent in the office they seek).

  • OK, let me get some facts straight. This is the same tax bill Gov. Pawlenty refused to negotiate on earlier? This is the same Gov. Pawlenty who has never offered any concessions or compromises to the Democrats but who ALWAYS demands things be done his way? The same Gov. Pawlenty who vetoes legislation and then goes fishing?

    Sounds like Gov. Pawlenty has removed himself from the debate, and it’s now up to the DFLers and the less partisan Republicans to come up with an override.

    Really, there’s no need to mention the governor again. He has chosen to not participate in the process, has shown zero interest in any kind of compromise, and absent any support in the legislature all he can do is step back and wait for others to do the heavy lifting for him.

  • Elizabeth T

    //And I have never seen a rational argument for raising taxes still further for a state that triples its spending every 20 years.//

    Inflation is a great reason.

    Other reasons:

    Increasing populations requiring special/different services, including children (need schools) and the elderly (often need medicare and other support services)

    Aging infrastructure requires more maintenance – not just more in the sense of continuing to pay for it. More in the sense that the older systems require a greater percentage of the budget than younger systems do. Want those potholes in I-94 or Cedar Ave fixed? Want your kid’s school kept structurally in tact?

    Minimum wages not keeping up with inflation – the poor get more state services (read: more of your tax dollars).

    Changing technology. Where do you think the State’s ability to provide services on-line comes from? 20 years ago there was no wide-spread internet (there certainly wasn’t in Michigan, where I was working for the state).

    Agricultural subsidies vary with the market prices and have definitely risen in the past 20 years.

    The need to increase pay for the state employees, ranging from the Legislature to their janitors.

    The need to make up for the reduction in Federal spending.