Progressives should keep this report by the Progressive States Network handy. While the above bills are significant, they are almost dwarfed by the progressive agenda approved by the legislature but vetoed by Gov. Pawlenty. The list of vetoed policies include: * Foreclosure Moratorium: In a veto that caught national attention, Pawlenty blocked a bill, SF 3396, to delay foreclosures and require lenders to renegotiate mortgages-- denying 12,000 Minnesota families at risk of losing their homes help. * Minimum Wage: Pawlenty vetoed SB 875, a minimum wage increase to $7.75 per hour in 2009. * Sick Leave: Pawlenty blocked legislation, MN SB 1128, to allow workers to use sick leave to care for their immediate relatives.-- which would have extend the right workers currently have to use sick leave to care for ill children. * Toxic Toys: Pawlenty blocked ban on phthalates in products marketed to children, such as in baby toys, teething rings and rubber ducks. * Domestic Partners: He vetoed a bill, SF 960, to allow local governments to offer health care or other benefits to the domestic partners of their employees. * Statewide health insurance pool for school districts: Another veto stopped local districts from pooling their health care to spread risk and lower costs. * Employee Free Choice Act: He vetoed a non-binding legislative resolution supportingfederal legislation to make it easier for workers to join unions. * Real ID: Pawlenty vetoed HF3807, which would have blocked Minnesota's participation in the federal program setting nationwide standards for state identification cards, although he later issued an executive order to restrict the states compliance with Real ID.. * Minnesota Medical Privacy Protection Act: SF3132, developed by Attorney General Lori Swanson, but vetoed by the governor, would have prohibited health care providers from disclosing patients' financial or medical debt information to anyone other than authorized third parties. * Due Process Employment Rights: A vetoed provision in the Child Welfare Bill would have required agencies to have clear and convincing evidence of criminal conduct by an applicant to disqualify them from employment. With Gov. Pawlenty bowing to corporate interests ranging from the insurance industry to predatory lenders to toxic toy producers in vetoing all these bills, what could have been a historically great session for Minnesota working families became merely a decent one. And let's not forget the bridge collapse fiasco. In 2005, Pawlenty vetoed a bill that would have infused $7.3 billion into road construction and mass transit operation over the next decade. Maybe Rudy isn't such a bad idea.
Adam Doster, a contributing editor at In These Times, is a Chicago-based freelance writer and former reporter-blogger for Progress Illinois.