Sunday, May 17, 2009

Things are Getting a Little Hot. The House of Representatives is going to attempt to override the Governor's $381 million line-item veto of the General Assistance Medical Care program. Both sides are giving speeches right now and it may be awhile before we get to the vote. I have to say that the speeches--on both sides of the issue--have been fairly impressive and, dare I say, moving.

Debate has wound down and the final vote was 87-47, three votes short of the number necessary to override the Governor's line-item veto.

It looks like override attempt day as the House has now decided to try and attempt HF 885, the vetoed tax bill that raised $1 billion in taxes instead of agreeing to the Governor's bonding for cash arrangment. So here we sit in the midst of the showdown we all pretty much knew was coming.

With this upcoming vote and the previous vote on the failed override of the line-item veto of the General Assistance Medical Care appropriation, the DFL is attempting to stake out its philosophical and political territory against what is certain to be an attack by the Administration and the House and Senate Republican minorities in the Legislature. It is going to be interesting to see how this turns out down the road, but these actions, taken with just a day left before the consitutionally-mandated adjournment at 11:59:59 tomorrow evening, make a deal look unlikely.

Update: After two-plus hours of really good debate--and I mean really good debate with both sides making their key points and differentiating themselves from their opposition--the House voted 85-49 on overriding Governor Pawlenty's veto of the tax bill--which raised taxes on high-income Minnesotans, beer and alcohol taxes, and fees on credit card companies--which is 5 votes short of the 90 votes needed to successfully override a Governor's veto.

Look forward to some big-time sparring tomorrow. Unless there is a breakthrough, it's going to be a real snark-fest with both sides taking pot shots and setting up the post-session blame-a-thon.

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