Friday, March 21, 2008
Smaller towns complain that St. Cloud and Rochester don't need it. That's a bad deal for those two Cities, since the metro-area legislators don't like it. It's thus no wonder that the House DFL plan for closing the budget deficit throws JOBZ (and Q-Comp) on the pyre. That they are both initiatives of Governor Pawlenty just makes it all the better. The smaller cities in outstate are going to complain, but if there's enough cover for killing JOBZ, it will happen.
So it is interesting that while Reps. Gottwalt and Haws are trying to protect JOBZ for the benefit of St. Cloud according to radio reports -- Haws asking for revisions to improve efficiency, but no indication of using it as a funding source for deficit reduction or supporting other spending -- Sen. Tarryl Clark is disagreeing with the Governor's budgetary choices, without mention of how she would pay for this. Is she therefore siding with the metro DFL in axing a program that doesn't help Metro? If so, whose interests is she representing? She may be cheering the Husky fans with handouts of the renovated National Hockey Center, but she doesn't seem to say anything about how that is to be paid.
If she would like to take a stand to say JOBZ should be axed, or should be amended as Rep. Haws has, that's one thing. Killing the program, though, seems to go against the interests of the St. Cloud area.