Friday, May 25, 2007

Are they gaming the guv? 

As I think more about this ordering of the bills being delivered to Governor Pawlenty, this appears to be more strategic than secretarial. The arrival of the HHS and State Government bills yesterday, assuming they arrived yesterday, must now be signed or vetoed (or line-itemed) by Saturday. Yet the Governor would not yet have the tax bill or the two education bills, so he again is in the box of being forced to sign them blind to any general budget resolution or the details of about half of state expenditures or what full revenues will be.

Given that the governor has said that he had to veto previous bills because he did not have a comprehensive budget, I wonder how he is supposed to sign these bills? Certainly he has some inkling what is in the ed and tax bills, but as we're finding out, some stinkers are still in the bills that passed with minimal scrutiny (more on this in my next post.)

Is the DFL-led Legislature gaming the governor into signing some bills without having all the information he needs to assess them? Behold these words:

Revisor of Statutes Michele Timmons, who heads the legislative office that compiles bills and sends them to the governor, acknowledged that the process "is taking a little bit longer this year" and that "it's not uncommon for the Legislature to make special presentment requests." Usually the requests are to speed up the job, not slow it down, she added.

She wouldn't comment on whether her staff could have gotten all the bills to the governor this week, but Kelliher said: "I'm sure that technically it would be possible."

I'm not governor, but if I was, I would not reward this behavior.

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