Lawmakers get budget blame, too
While many are upset over Gov. Tim Pawlenty's recent unallotment of state funding to balance the budget, DFL leaders should look in the mirror before issuing complaints.
Considering Pawlenty's commitment to his "no new taxes" pledge, the governor certainly can take the blame for being unwilling to compromise. However, the DFL-controlled House and Senate had alternatives. The Legislature also could have passed a budget bill agreeable to enough legislators to make it veto proof, and passed it early enough in the session to override Pawlenty's veto before the session ended.
However, by delaying a budget bill until the last minute -- as it has done for many consecutive years -- the Legislature gave Pawlenty the power to veto the bill, and then unallot funding.
Maybe DFL leadership did so to make Pawlenty and his party look bad in preparation for the 2010 gubernatorial race. If so, time will tell if the strategy works.
In the meantime, those in the Legislature who do not like Pawlenty's decisions should realize they unnecessarily gave away their power because they were too slow in getting their work done.