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Former VP Joe Biden condemns recent police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis as yet another deadly encounter between police and an unarmed Black man. He did so before a virtual talk with PA Gov. Tom Wolf, ahead of next Tuesday's eight primaries.

No Love Lost Between Pawlenty and Labor Unions

June 3, 2009

St. Paul, MN - Tim Pawlenty's decision to step down as governor after his second term is no surprise to Minnesota labor leaders. Minnesota AFL-CIO representatives welcomed the news and took the opportunity to blast Pawlenty's legacy.

AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Steve Hunter says the governor's steadfast reliance on borrowing money to patch budget holes made the state more vulnerable to the current economic hardship.

"We think the difficulties Minnesota is facing right now have been exacerbated by the governor's lack of investment in our future when we had money."

Pawlenty has yet to begin the unallotment process that will subtract nearly $3 billion in state money from hospitals, nursing homes, cities and state-supported colleges. As he made his announcement, Pawlenty said he is proud to have strengthened supports for veterans, moved Minnesota out of the top 10 highest-taxed states, and increased education standards. Some speculate the governor could be clearing his plate for a possible Presidential run.

Hunter says the looming cuts to many state-supported programs like health care for low-income Minnesotans would make it harder for Pawlenty to win votes for a third term.

"With his proposed line-item vetoes and unallotments, we could have another 60,000 or 70,000 people who are working but don't have health insurance. That's a tough record to run on."

Pawlenty's announcement comes after a contentious legislative session in which he failed to reach a budget agreement with the DFL-controlled legislature. The two sides parted ways over the legislature's insistence on increasing some taxes to keep Minnesota in the black.

Art Hughes, Public News Service - MN