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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Pawlenty vetoes transportation bill, trashes amendment

Governor Pawlenty, apparently itchin' to ignore our transportation needs or run up the credit card, promptly vetoed the transportation bill that passed the legislature, which included a gas tax increase. However, a referendum on a constitutional amendment dedication the Motor Vehicle Sales Tax (MVST) to transit and transportation will end up on the November 2006 ballot, since the governor has no say on constitutional amendments.

This didn't stop him and other Republicans from trashing the amendment, saying that the proposed split of 60% of MVST proceeds for roads, 40% for transit is too much for transit. I'm pretty damn sick of Republicans trashing us transit users. Roads already get 100% of the gas tax and license tab free revenue; 60% of the MVST for roads is enough. This isn't about pork for transit advocates, as Sviggum and Pawlenty like to say, this is about adequately funding a transit system that is needed in a metropolitan area of almost 3 million.

Here's a challenge to Pawlenty and Sviggum: ride the bus for a week. The governor's mansion isn't too far from a bus line, if it isn't already on it, and although I don't know where Sviggum lives while the legislature is in session, it's probably near a bus too. Ride it to and from the Capitol for a week, talk to people, listen to people, and try to figure out that additional funding to avoid fare hikes and service cutbacks isn't pork. It keeps our economy going, it lets the elderly and people with disabilities live normal lives, and it helps keep congestion off of our highways. I seriously doubt either of them would actually have the guts to do this, though.


At 11:00 PM, May 19, 2005, Blogger Erik said...

If the governor's mansion isn't already directly on the bus rout, I move that a stop with a heated shelter be placed right outside the gate of his residence.

At 1:55 PM, May 20, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget about Pawlenty's infantile finger-pointing. "What has the DFL legislature done about transportation the past 10 years? Squatsky. Squatsky."

Actually, Tim, I seem to recall the DFL Senate passing a large transportation package in 2002, but it never came up for a vote in the GOP-controlled House because someone was running for governor and didn't want to support a gas tax increase. Who was that jerk again, Tim?

Republicans have been very good about having it both ways with their rhetoric. Even though they control everything in D.C., Mark Kennedy still uses anti-Washington rhetoric in his announcement speech. Tim Pawlenty talks about the DFL-controlled legislature for the past 10 years, even though Republicans have controlled one arm of the legislature for seven of those ten years.

People just seem to naturally associate government and capitol buildings with Democrats, even when they're not in control. Democrats don't help things when they talk about taking *back* the majority, or the governor's mansion, or whatever. Drop that "back," guys. Public office is not yours by default.

At 5:38 PM, May 20, 2005, Anonymous dav3 said...

From the Strib article you link to:

"On one positive note, the governor praised the bill's proposed constitutional amendment to dedicate all motor vehicle sales taxes to transportation by 2012, if voters approve in next year's general election.

He called it the cornerstone of his own plan, with a potential to boost transportation funding by more than $300 million a year."

From yesterday's PiPress:

"A provision of the bill calling for a referendum on whether a constitutional amendment should be added to require 100 percent of the motor vehicle sales tax to go toward transportation funding will still go before the voters. The governor's veto does not apply to constitutional amendments.

"Pawlenty has said he supports the amendment.

So is he for it or against it? I gotta admit, that doesn't sound like "trashing the amendment" to me.

(Full disclosure: I ride the bus, bike or drive my car, depending on the weather and where I need to go.)

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