Pawlenty must step forward and lead

There is no need for a government shutdown if Gov. Tim Pawlenty is doing his job.

In approximately nine days, the special session will come to a close. With the legislative deadline looming, it’s a shame that negotiations in St. Paul seem to have come to a standstill. What is even more alarming is that these types of politics have become symptomatic of the state. If legislators and the Gov. Tim Pawlenty are not able to come to agreements regarding the budget for the upcoming biennium, it will be the second time in a row that the Legislature will not come to a close during the regular or special session.

Inevitably, the governor, DFLers, an Independence Party member and Republicans will have to reach an agreement. They, however, must be willing to budge at least a little bit, on their budget and policy priorities. Legislative stalemates should not be the precedent by which things get done in the state. It must be said that it is because of these types of politics that an overwhelming amount of students, and citizens in general, become disenfranchised from the political process. Residents of that state elect their peers to represent their interests at the Capitol, but they also expect them to do their job in the timeframe that is dedicated to them.

Ultimately, the burden of responsibility falls on the office of the governor. As the most influential lawmaker in the state, he is the one leader that should be charging the way for both Democratic and Republican interests. Yet, because of a few unwise campaign promises, Pawlenty has become one of the state’s most polarizing political figures. Rather than trying to scare the residents by holding press conferences extolling the consequences of a government shutdown, Pawlenty should admit to some of his mistakes. Mistakes which, incidentally, have detrimentally affected the University and the state.

If Pawlenty needs any proof of this, he need look no further than the difference in budget proposals between his own senate and house republicans.