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Monday, January 03, 2005

Legislative session 2005

The state legislature reconvenes tomorrow for the start of the 2005 session. They have a lot of things to deal with, such as a bonding bill that wasn't passed last year, a sizable budget deficit, and miscellaneous issues like anti-gay marriage amendments, stadiums, health care...just about everything that wasn't dealt with last year, which is a lot.

Governor Pawlenty's political capital seems to be dwindling. Today, he put forth a bonding bill that is far more expensive than he or most other Republicans want to pay for. House Republicans stated that they wouldn't accept a bonding bill more than about $450 million, yet Pawlenty's bill is over $800 million. It will be fun to watch the Republicans battle over how big the bill will be. Evidently, people are tired of Pawlenty's "No New Taxes or Spending" message, and he is, shall we say, "massaging" his message. Or flip-flopping.

Speaking of House Republicans, Speaker Sviggum is another person who is watching his power dwindle. He only has a two-seat majority, and word is many House Republicans are seriously ticked off at Sviggum. Whether this will lead to any surprises tomorrow in the vote for speaker is anyone's guess, but it would only take two defections on the Republican side to do it. Also, watch for Democrats to strike out at Republicans for stacking certain committees with far more Republican votes than the 68-66 breakdown should allow for.

It will be a very interesting first day of session, and the next four and a half months should be just as entertaining. Stay tuned.

3 Comments:

At 8:57 PM, January 03, 2005, Blogger R-Five said...

I'll be looking forward to your view of the proceedings. As you said, should be fun if nothing else. By the way, I agree Pawlenty is increasingly a flip-flopper. Not of John Kerry proportions, but enough to question why we in the GOP thought he would be more conservative than Bill Simon, his 2002 primary opponent.

 
At 9:48 PM, January 03, 2005, Blogger MN Politics Guru said...

I think you mean Brian Sullivan, not Bill Simon, but you are certainly correct. Pawlenty is a skilled politician if nothing else. The overwhelming message from the voters was disgust at nothing getting done last year, so he knows better than to sit around playing obstructionist again. The question is how the more conservative Republicans in the House and Senate will deal with him.

 
At 11:28 PM, January 06, 2005, Blogger R-Five said...

Right you are, Sullivan. I kept looking at that Simon name, now I know why.

As for 2004, I'd give Tim Pawlenty and and Dean Johnson about equal credit for the "nothing done" results.

 

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