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Jesse is right on this one

Governor Jesse Ventura may not be able to pin down our elusive legislative leaders, but one thing is certain, he is absolutely right on this one. He says he is determined to keep the final month of this legislative session out of the tangled web ...

Governor Jesse Ventura may not be able to pin down our elusive legislative leaders, but one thing is certain, he is absolutely right on this one.
He says he is determined to keep the final month of this legislative session out of the tangled web of self-serving vultures who will do anything possible to embarrass Jesse at the expense of the state's entire population.
Jesse said late last week that he would not look seriously at any other bills until a bonding bill is passed. He has the guts, and he is absolutely right.
The even-year session of the Legislature was designed in 1972 to handle brick and mortar projects throughout the state. If time permitted, the Legislature could amend existing laws on the books and adjourn early. During sessions in odd-numbered years, lawmakers are supposed to approve appropriations needed to fund state government and taxes to pay the bills.
It's all so simple, but alas, the legislative process is not designed to be simple. It is, instead, complicated, political and self-serving. Legislative veterans know the ropes and can cloud and confuse and manipulate the process.
Let's get real here. Yes, the state has a growing surplus and there are legislators who have any number of schemes up their sleeves to deplete the surplus without serious long-range planning. Ventura can see this, and so can most of us who know how to add and subtract. He simply wants to go slow, limit the tax cuts this year to $270 million, and then in 2001 spend time and energy retrofitting our tax system to accommodate the best interests of our state.
He further wants to cut the license plate costs to a maximum of $75. Sounds reasonable to this writer.
Speaker of the House Steve Sviggum, R-Kenyon, says the governor doth protest too much, and his stubbornness will only worsen the growing conflict between the executive and legislative branch.
I don't agree one single bit and here's why. If the Legislature, with a Democratic controlled Senate and a Republican controlled house, is turned loose to concoct tax refunds, nothing will be done for the rest of the session. The bonding bills that communities throughout the state are depending upon will simply get lost in the shuffle..
Legislators should pass the bonding bill, adjourn, go back home, talk to local civic leaders, and reacquaint themselves with the needs of their constituents. Then, in January, go back to St. Paul and do their job right from a base of knowledge.
Dick Palmer is the former editor and publisher of the Budgeteer News. He can be reached by e-mail at RPalmer341@aol.com

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