« Analysis: Numbers | Main | Airline cancellations worsen »

Pawlenty's line-item vetoes slash $200 million

Governor Pawlenty used line-item vetoes on Monday to slash more than $200 million from the bonding bill that was presented to him last week, the Star Tribune reported.

He reduced the budget by 13 percent to $717 million, using 52 line-item vetoes.

Many of the the high-profile items cut out of the bill were in St. Paul: $11 million for a Como Zoo expansion, $24 million for a new Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota, and $5 for a new Asian Pacific Cultural Center.

Pawlenty said he did not make the cuts for personal reasons, but rather wanted to set "the right priorties for the state" and "live within our means."

Several Democratic senators saw the move as pay-back for the Democrat-controlled legislature's override of Pawlenty's veto last week on the transportation bill.

Pawlenty also cut $400,000 for a planned sheet music library in Chatfield that he saw as a symbol of the legislature's profligate spending.

House Majority Leader Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm, said that no decision had been made yet about whether or not the legislature would attempt to override the vetoes.

Democrats, who have a majority in the Senate, could override the veto, but would need at least five Republicans in the House to join them for the move to be successful.