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Session 2000: Ventura's Reaction
by Mark Zdechlik
May 10, 2000
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Governor Ventura must sort through all of the last-minute legislative action in the next few days. Lawmakers will return to St. Paul next Wednesday to act on any vetoes and to consider one last piece of legislation: a deal on changes to the Profile of Learning graduation standards.

GOVERNOR VENTURA, in Minnetonka for an affordable-housing news conference, sarcastically defended his decision to be in the nation's capitol talking free trade with China with President Clinton, and not in Minnesota on the last day of the legislative session.

"I was flabbergasted when I flew in late afternoon and saw my state was still here," Ventura said. "I left for a day and I was very much worried that when I returned everything would be chaos and turmoil. We have things in case you're not aware of called cell phones. I could be reached any moment."

With lawmakers funding a tax rebate, passing income tax cuts and allocating more money for mass transit and education, Ventura indicated he views the latest legislative session as a success.

"I consider Minnesota a winner. I consider us doing our jobs and doing what we are supposed to do, and I really wish we could put on a positive attitude and stop all the negativism. I guess when times are good people need to search for bad."

Ventura lost on his biggest legislative priority. The governor wanted state lawmakers to approve putting the unicameral issue to a vote by Minnesota residents. Ventura acknowledged it never had a chance. "I don't believe for one minute that the Legislature had any intention of passing it. I don't believe for one minute they felt the people of Minnesota were bright enough to choose what they wanted their government to be."

Lawmakers finished their major work just in time to meet a deadline which, has they missed, would have prevented them from attempting to override any gubernatorial vetoes. Ventura declined to get into details of the legislators' work; citing a need to review bills with staff. It's unclear what - if anything - Governor Ventura may try to reject with the stamp of a veto.