Monday, February 12, 2007
The Job Opportunity Building Zones program may face extinction this session from the efforts of its own author, Sen. Thomas Bakk, DFL-Cook, and the Senate Tax Committee that Bakk chairs. The committee expressed brewing concerns and some bipartisan disappointment with the program last week.
Dan McElroy, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, will face questions from committee member DFL Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller of Minneapolis and the full committee about the JobZ program his department oversees. McElroy�s confirmation, which has already passed the Business Industry and Jobs Committee, was pulled from the Senate floor Thursday for review in the Tax Committee later this session.
I sincerely doubt JOBZ' benefits, and have for awhile. But I don't think this is what holding up Dan McElroy's nomination is about. He's a close confidant of the governor, having previously served as his chief of staff. My guess instead is that, given the length of time his nomination will be held up, that he has become a hostage in the upcoming fight over higher taxes that the DFL wants to impose. This is a body that has a reputation for shooting hostages.