Not all DFL priorities will get done
Last week was a time for Minnesota Democrats to downplay expectations.
On Wednesday, state officials announced that there would be no big infusion of money for the two-year budget that begins July 1. That led to Democrats to say legislators cannot do everything some Minnesotans expected.
On Friday, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, said there will not be enough money or time to overhaul the health-care system; implement all-day, every-day kindergarten; or cover all children's health-care needs.
In November, Republicans and Democrats alike said they were thankful for a nearly $2.2 billion surplus. On Wednesday, Finance Department officials said not much had changed in those three months, but Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis, said there is not enough money for senators' priorities without increasing taxes.
"We think it is a very good signal that our finance commissioner didn't use the word 'surplus,'" Clark said.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Democrats "over promised" in the campaign. "They got themselves in a jam."