Pawlenty budget includes variety of items
Some items from Gov. Tim Pawlenty's proposed $34.4 billion, two-year budget:
-- While the total budget would be $55 billion, the state only has control over $34.4 billion. Much of the rest is federal money that just passes through the state budget.
-- Only "emergency" and projects policymakers already have accepted would be included in a bonding proposal -- a measure for borrowing money for construction and similar uses. A crumbling Transportation Building exterior, a prison in Oak Park Heights and the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center would be funded.
-- Continuing a multi-year effort to end homelessness in the state would get $44 million.
-- Keeping up efforts to prepare for a pandemic flu event would cost $22 million.
-- Rural Minnesota's Job Opportunities Building Zone program would get a $500,000 boost.
-- A $6 million tax credit would help fund new business loans.
-- Technology improvements, including increasing security on the state's computer systems, would cost $213 million.
-- Budget reserves would increase about $50 million to prepare for possible economic problems or unplanned costs.
-- Improving the computer system that allows public safety personnel to track criminals would cost $16 million.
-- Of the nearly $2.2 billion surplus, which is scattered through the budget, about 34 percent would be spent on public education, 18 percent on higher education and 12 percent on tax relief.
-- Pawlenty says that under his plan, the state's budget will be balanced through at least 2011.