In a fascinating development on Monday, the Minnesota House voted to override Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty’s transportation bill veto. The DFL picked up 2 votes since the bill’s passage, and thus had one vote to spare in a 91-41 vote on Monday. The Senate voted to override Pawlenty’s veto 47-20 as expected. This veto override is a rarity in Minnesota politics – the first since 2002 and just the 14th since 1939.
There was some surprise that the handful of House Republicans who supported the bill last week voted for its override, despite strong pressure from the GOP House leadership and state Republican party. These Republican incumbents risk losing key endorsements during their re-election campaigns this year by backing a transportation bill that contained revenue-raising provisions that are supported by only approximately one-third of Minnesotans, according to a recent SurveyUSA poll.