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Minnesota Legislature

No need for ‘lights-on’ (vetoed bill)

Published (5/29/2009)
By Lee Ann Schutz
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A so-called “lights-on bill” to keep government operating if session ended without any appropriations for state agencies wasn’t needed and therefore vetoed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

House Majority Leader Tony Sertich (DFL-Chisholm), the bill’s sponsor along with Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller (DFL-Mpls), called it “an option of a last resort.” When the bill was presented to the governor in the session’s final week, there was uncertainty over whether he would enact any of the omnibus finance bills passed by the Legislature. This bill’s intent was to cap state agency spending during fiscal year 2010 at the fiscal year 2009 spending level, if no budget resolution was reached by the constitutional deadline for adjournment.

In his veto letter, Pawlenty wrote that the bill “overlaps with appropriations found in omnibus appropriation bills now signed into law. As a result this bill is not needed.”

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