Different Strokes

Minnesota Democratic legislative leaders want to pass three bills before even thinking about how to tackle the state’s deficit. In contrast, a top House Republican said the deficit needs to be addressed before lawmakers deal with anything else in a legislative session beginning at noon Tuesday.

House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, both D-Minneapolis, this morning said the first three bills to pass will be a constitutional amendment to dedicate money to outdoors and arts programs, a transportation funding bill and a public works funding measure. Assistant House Minority Leader Tom Emmer, R-Delano, on the other hand, said the states budget deficit needs to be tackled first.
A $373 million deficit predicted last fall is expected to grow in light of the sour economy.

Democrats who control the Legislature said they will wait until a Feb. 28 revenue and economic report before deciding what to do about most spending issues.