Health care bill suffers a familiar fate

Another veto
The governor says the Legislature's proposal spends $722 million more from the state's general fund than he recommended in his budget for the next four-year cycle. He says that kind of spending growth can't be sustained.
MPR Photo/Tom Scheck

Gov. Pawlenty has vetoed a health and welfare spending bill that passed the Legislature on Monday. Pawlenty says he vetoed the $10 billion bill as soon as he returned from Tuesday's trip to survey wildfire damage in northeastern Minnesota.

Pawlenty and DFLers in the Legislature are at odds on how to proceed with budget negotiations. The governor has vetoed four budget-related bills in the past week.

Sen. Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis, says he's frustrated that the governor has been unwilling to meet with lawmakers to discuss his problems with the bills.

"He said he was going to govern differently and he's now starting to act like he's refusing to govern differently," he said. "I don't think just saying 'no' is an attempt to try to compromise and reach some objectives that would move our state forward. I hope he changes his attitude soon because it will take that."

Sen. Linda Berglin
DFL Sen. Linda Berglin called the governor's veto unfortunate. She says the bill only tapped a quarter of the new money that's available to lawmakers this session.
MPR Photo/Tom Scheck

Pawlenty has invited legislative leaders to breakfast at the governor's mansion on Thursday. The governor vetoed the state government budget bill and the economic development bill on Monday. He also vetoed the capital investment bill last week.

Pawlenty says he had several problems with the bills but is also concerned that there has been no agreement on a budget.