Minnesota Governor Vetoes Transportation Bill

He refuses to raise taxes to pay for billions in road improvements, yet voters may overrule him in November.
February 27, 2006, 6am PST | David Gest
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"Literally wielding a big red VETO stamp to appease the no-tax crowd that remains hell-bent on a something-for-nothing relationship with government, Gov. Tim Pawlenty deep-sixed the bipartisan transportation bill. 'How dumb can they be?' he sneered of the lawmakers who dared approve a tax hike to fix the state's roads.

But Pawlenty's veto didn't bury the transportation bill entirely. Under Minnesota law, a governor cannot stop a constitutional amendment from going on the ballot once it has been passed by the House and Senate. Thus, this November, voters will decide whether all the proceeds from the motor vehicle sales tax (MVST) should be dedicated to transportation. Given that the MnDoT describes its current financial situation as one of 'cash flow problems' ('A more accurate way to say it is that they're broke, pure and simple,' says Steve Murphy--DFL-Red Wing--the chair of the Senate Transportation Committee), there is overwhelming sentiment to approve the amendment."

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Published on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 in Minneapolis/St. Paul CityPages
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