Governors on Bridging the Budget Battle Gap

Governors around the nation are taking action by trying to create a balance in budgets to make up for the excessive spending that has caused billions of dollars in deficit.

Saving for A Rainy Day

"One of the things that leadership is about is not just dealing with today, but trying to look into the future. I know that when I was governor I had an enormous battle in 2001, early in the year, because we saw Wall Street declining, we saw profits in the big banks going down, which had an enormous impact in New York revenue. But the legislature wanted to continue spending as though there would be no ending to the boom time. And that year, on Sept. 11, we didn’t have a budget in place because I refused to let them to spend as though the good times would never end."

- George Pataki, former New York Governor

Minnesota’s Budget Shortfall

"Minnesota’s economy is mirroring what’s happening nationally. It's not quite as bad as the other states. But we’re about in the middle of the pack, and we’ve got a big deficit. We just finished a legislative session where we got that taken care of partly through what is called an 'unallotment' in Minnesota where the Governor gets to unilaterally make some cuts. Historically in Minnesota and in other states, we have been spending beyond the rate of growth in the economy, beyond what’s responsible, beyond what’s sustainable and those chickens are now coming home to roost."

- Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Governor

Pennsylvania’s Budget Deficit

"In balance, we are doing okay as a state, but we still have difficult problems because the question is how to bridge the gap that we do have. I think we need to do it with a balance of cuts: I’ve already cut in this proposed budget $2.25 billion and some revenue increases. It’s inescapable. When you lose $3.2 billion of revenue in a year, you have to do some revenue increases. Unless you want to gut everything we do, including education, public safety, and so many things that we do as a state that are so crucial to the quality of life in Pennsylvania. So I think there has to be balance."

- Ed Rendell, Pennsylvania Governor

For more on budgets and the economy...