Tuesday, June 07, 2016

The Wait Turns into the Weight.  The suspense is over and the Governor has vetoed the tax bill, ostensibly over one word (an "or" instead of an "and" that would have cost the state $101 million in receipts from charitable gambling), but I think everyone knows the drama goes deeper than that.  The messy end to the Legislative Session left a few loose strings--particularly bonding and transportation funding--that the Governor believes need to be tied up.  Some contend the Governor is using the veto to leverage some of his priorities to be included in a special session bonding and spending bill while others contend he is simply vetoing the bill because of the costly one-word error.  Whatever the reason or reasoning--and this will be undoubtedly hashed to death by political analysts for the next few weeks (and perhaps months)--if there's no special session, the election season has become a much spicier stew.

One very troublesome aspect of the veto for SEE is that the provision that would provide a considerable property tax break on agricultural property will not take effect.  That provision would have provided a property tax credit attributable to 40% of the burden on agricultural property for school district bonded indebtedness and was a priority of the organization.

Republicans will contend this is a petulant ploy by a Governor who wants to spend more money and Democrats will counter that the Republican House were primarily responsible for the clumsiness at the end of the regular session and the tax bill mishap could have been avoided and other bills could have been constructed more smoothly if there hadn't been a logjam of activity in the last 48 hours of the session.  Kris Kristofferson sang "Who's to Bless and Who's to Blame" and the voters will decide that.  In the meantime, the "wait" that pervaded the end of session now has turned into a "weight" for both sides as they try to generate arguments that will turn the balance to their side.  I guess that's why I have chosen--in the spirit of keeping the music going on the blog--to feature one of the great songs from the 1960s by The Band.  You've got it and here it is, The Weight, live from the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival in 1969 (I wanted to go, but my mom needed the '62 Fairlaine that weekend).

Here is a story on the tax impasses from MinnPost:  Tax Bill Veto

Speaking of the Election.  Filings have closed and the initial slates of Republican and DFL legislative candidates are complete.  There will be a number of high-profile primary elections on August 9 that will decide the November match-ups.  Here are the links from the Secretary of State's Office for the Senate and House candidates at this point in the process:



Education Wrap-Up.  MinnPost has a new education reporter--Erin Hinrichs--and she does a really got job summing up the major education provisions in this year's omnibus supplemental budget bill.  Find it here:  MinnPost Education Story

Last, but not Least (and not the Last Time We'll Hear about this):  There's no question Donald Trump--now the presumptive Republican nominee for President--has stirred up a lot of dust this year and has left a lot of prognosticators, veteran and otherwise, scratching their heads this year.  Here is an interesting story from the recent issue of The New York Review of Books where a group of political analysts contend that early indications from the campaign showed Trump had staying power and that around January, his nomination had become, if not a fait accompli, expected.  Here it is, complete with charts and graphs:  Why Trump Was Inevitable

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