The leaders of the Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Tim Pawlenty are doing something they rarely did in last year’s stalemate at the Capitol: talking to each other. But Republican leaders told MPR’s Midday today that nothing much has changed.
“I don’t think so,” Senate Minority Leader Dave Senjem said. “As we go home and as we survey the landscape, from our position we want to see jobs and we want to see prosperity in Minnesota and that’s a question of how you get there,” Sen. Senjem said.
“The $1.2 billion (deficit) … 70 percent came from personal income. That means someone lost their job or they took a big cut,” Rep. Kurt Zellers, the House minority leader, said.
Host Gary Eichten asked whether there are enough spending and service cuts to balance the budget. “I’m not going to suggest it’s going to be easy, but I think we have to,” he said, naming human services and — possibly — K-12 as targets.
Last week, DFL leaders suggested cutting the number of political appointees in the administration as an area to cut. “It’s cheap political shots,” Zellers said.
Zellers and Senjem disagreed on wheether a “budget gimmick” of delaying payments in state aid to schools will be eventually repaid. Senjem there’s a chance that won’t be. Zellers said schools shouldn’t have to “eat” the cut.
Today’s meeting comes on a day of poor economic reports, leading more analysts to suggest we’ve ended one recession, and are about to head into another.