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Shootout At The OK Corral

Or, Pawlenty Uses the Pen for Line Items,
Rather Than Complete Veto

From Minnesota Public Radio:

Pawlenty trims some projects, then signs bonding bill April 7, 2008

St. Paul, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Tim Pawlenty has signed a borrow-to-build plan after cutting out projects to reduce the price tag.

Pawlenty decided Monday to use his line-item veto authority rather than taking down an entire $925 million bonding bill. He's letting $717 million worth of projects stand.

The Republican governor had said he wouldn't accept a bill that adds more than $825 million to the state's general debt load.

The total value of all of the construction projects could be higher because federal or local dollars are often required to match state contributions.

The bill pays for renovations and new construction at colleges, prisons, wastewater treatment facilities, regional civic centers and the like.

From the Pioneer Press:

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty today cut down the Legislature's $925 million public works measure to $717 million by vetoing a series of projects.

He said he was "very disappointed" at the size of the Legislature's bill, which, he said, "reflects misplaced priorities."

Specifically, he cut out:

$70 million for the Central Corridor light rail line between Minneapolis and St. Paul

$11 million for the St. Paul's Como Zoo.

$5 million for St. Paul's Asian Pacific Cultural Center.

Two University of Minnesota projects — $24 million for a new Bell Museum of Natural History and $2 million for classroom renovations in Crookston, Duluth, Morris and the Twin Cities

$16 million for the Red Lake school district

$4 million in planning money for a high-speed rail line between St. Paul and Chicago and other projects.

Let the weeping and gnashing of teeth begin...

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