.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Monday, May 22, 2006

Session wrapup

You know where to find the links for this.

All in all, it's a pretty mixed session. Legislators can point to several things and say that they "accomplished" something, unlike previous do-nothing sessions: a billion-dollar bonding bill, stadiums, more money for sex offenders, a few smaller issues like data privacy. On the other hand, "stadiums" isn't what a whole lot of people wanted, and neither side got anything good to appease their bases. There was no property tax relief. Democrats did not get anything like more transit funding, health care, or reversals of previous budget cuts. Republicans did not get huge tax cuts, anti-abortion bills, bills about hating teh gay, or other social conservative issues.

About the stadium issue: a pox on both their houses, may brimstone rain down upon them, yada yada. There were plenty of cowards on both sides with regards to this issue, but let it be known that the Twins stadium bill passed the Senate by two votes, and two Minneapolis senators voted for it. I think that Rep. Ron Abrams made a good point: since the final bill included a bribe in the form of using some of the sales tax revenue to pay for libraries and Youth Works, what's going to stop every other city in Minnesota from coming to the legislature and asking for a sales tax increase to pay for continuing programs like these? Local sales tax, with few exceptions, don't pay for operations, they pay for capital projects. But that precedent is gone.

I did read one article somewhere saying that because the sales tax dedication to natural resources didn't pass, Senate Democrats will be held responsible, mainly because they screwed up the bill by including arts funding." Whatever. It is just as likely that people will blame House Republicans, who screwed up the bill by having two ballot questions and refusing to raise new revenue with the bill, instead creating a big old budget hole that nobody wanted to fill. In any case, I don't see the failure of that bill being a big deal in the long run.

And in the long run, it looks like the only real winners this year were Carl Pohlad and Jerry Bell.


At 4:59 AM, May 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Twins fan I can only say that I hate this stadium because it has no roof.

Otherwise, thank you God now we can move on and try to get the Twins to not suck.

At 1:07 PM, May 23, 2006, Anonymous Jlubby said...

Having lived in the Baltimore area the past couple years, I've been to plenty of games at a nice outdoor stadium on pretty summer days. I've also been to plenty of games on sweltering summer days and plenty of games on days where there's just enough rain that they can't play but not quite enough to call it for a good two hours. Suffice it to say, when I moved back nothing sounded sweeter on a cold, rainy day than going to an indoor park and watching a ballgame.

At 1:52 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Douglas Hester said...

...not to mention taking your life in your hands going through the neighborhoods around Camden Yards.

Personally, I liked the recent "do nothing" sessions. Doing nothing means not spending any more of my money on stuff the government has no business spending money on.

At 5:59 PM, May 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home