Or is he just digging a deeper hole…

In today’s STrib, there’s an article that is hard to take seriously.  It’s “Pawlenty: State overemphasizing social services,” where Pawlenty opines:

“If we don’t get a handle on this at both the federal and at the state level, and at county, school district and city level, these programs are growing so fast and so out of proportion with the rate of the private economy, that within 15 years it will consume a vast majority of the state’s budget,” Pawlenty said.

And a story of a “welfare king” with 11 kids conniving health care:

Jim Carlson. owner of Carlson Financial Strategies in Burnsville, was one of those business people who said he was glad to hear the govenor talking of containing such costs.

Carlson told the governor and others of one of the unintended consequences he’s seen when it comes to the high cost of health care — and the state’s generosity. One of his clients, who works in the construction industry, had been trying to earn less than $50,000 a year so that his 11 children could qualify for public assistance for health care, Carlson said.

Pawlenty said he, too, has heard of people who try to adjust their income so they can qualify for subsidized health care.

Snickering questions aside about whether vasectomies are covered by “subsidized health care,” how could someone afford to pay for health coverage for 11 kids?  What would that amount to monthly?   If this is an example of the type of social service expense Pawlenty wants to cut, is this what’s meant by “family values?”  And nevermind that the big state health care line item is nursing home costs… sigh…

Pawlenty spells out legislative agenda 

And here’s his Energy agenda…

Clean Energy Technology Collaborative

Governor Pawlenty today signed an Executive Order creating the Governor’s Clean Energy Technology Collaborative (CETC). This group of up to 15 members appointed by the Governor will be responsible for developing a Clean Energy Technology Roadmap that will provide the research and development vision, along with a plan and milestones, to ensure Minnesota achieves the state’s clean energy goals.

Among those goals are the 25 x ’25 renewable energy standard that requires 25 percent of the state’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2025.

CETC members will include scientists from industry and academia, with the Director of the Office of Energy Security and Commissioners of Agriculture, Employment and Economic Development and the Pollution Control Agency serving as ex officio members.

“To achieve our clean energy goals we will need new, better and cheaper renewable energy technologies. That requires scientific and technological breakthroughs,” Governor Pawlenty said. “This collaborative will bring together scientists from our state’s great academic laboratories and industry research centers to draft a roadmap for achieving these breakthroughs and reaching our nation-leading clean energy goals.”

Office of Energy Security

A second Executive Order signed by Governor Pawlenty today creates the Minnesota Office of Energy Security within the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

“Clean energy and energy security is a critical issue to Minnesota’s future. This organizational change will keep Minnesota moving towards a better energy future,” said Governor Pawlenty.

The Governor appointed Commerce Department Deputy Commissioner Edward Garvey to also become the director of the new office. Garvey will coordinate energy and climate issues throughout the administration. Creating a focused office on energy security will allow the public easier access to energy information and technical assistance.

The Office of Energy Security will be housed in and receive administrative support from the Department of Commerce and there is no fiscal impact from this change.

“This structural change will support Governor Pawlenty’s efforts to secure a clean energy future,” said Glenn Wilson, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce. “Edward Garvey is the right person to lead this new office because of the universal respect he enjoys from all sectors of the energy industry.”

Carbon Market Planning Authority

Through increased energy efficiency, use of renewable energy and changing industrial processes over the next several years, Minnesotans will address the threat of climate change and take actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

These actions could result in marketable carbon credits that could be sold in developing regional, national or global carbon trading programs.

To help plan for and foster this credit trading opportunity, Governor Pawlenty is proposing the creation of the Carbon Market Planning Authority (CMPA) within the newly created Office of Energy Security. Creation of CMPA will be submitted to the legislature in the 2008 session.

CMPA will study and plan for the potential for a carbon market exchange and the need for financing strategies to encourage the creation and viability of a carbon credit market.

CMPA will include six at-large members appointed by the Governor, as well as the Commissioners of the Pollution Control Agency, Employment and Economic Development, Finance, and Agriculture and would be chaired by the Director of the Office of Energy Security.

“While it’s still too early to know exactly how the carbon credit market will develop, it’s not too early to prepare for the emergence of markets,” Governor Pawlenty said.

Mikey’s been busy…

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