Tim Pawlenty vetoes budget proposal: Full text

Following through as promised and predicted, GOP Gov. Pawlenty vetoed the budget-balancing package approved by the DFL-controlled Legislature yesterday because it raises taxes.

Both sides now have until Monday to come up with some sort of compromise to avoid a nearly $3 billion deficit.

Here's the text of Pawlenty's veto letter.

It's addressed to Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the DFL-endorsed candidate for the job Pawlenty leaves at the end of the year.

Dear Speaker Kelliher:

I have vetoed and am returning Chapter 340, House File 2037.

As you are aware, Minnesota and the nation are experiencing historic economic challenges. Minnesotans re concerned about their jobs and the jobs of their family members, neighbors and friends. Minnesota is already one of the most highly taxed states in the nation. The DFL proposal to add a fourth tier income bracket at a rate of 9.1 percent would give Minnesota the 5th-highest income tax rate in the country. It would also disproportionately harm small business owners and hamper job creation in our state. The bill would raise taxes for approximately 122,000 filers, with an average tax increase of $2,800 in 2010.

Moreover, it is nonsensical to to increase taxes on job providers merely weeks after after I signed a bill to provide tax incentives for Minnesota businesses to grow jobs. This behavior sends a confusing and mixed message to companies looking to produce jobs in Minnesota.

The bill also does very little to address the budget deficit in the next biennium, leaving a nearly $5 billion deficit for the next Legislature and Governor to address. It is is irresponsible leadership not to sincerely attempt to address this critical, as I did in my February budget proposal.

I look forward to working with you on an appropriate solution that does not raise taxes on Minnesotans and significantly reduces the budget deficit in this budget cycle and the next one.


Tim Pawlenty Governor

PDF version here at MPR.

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