James George Janos, better known as Jesse Ventura, is an American politician, actor, author, and former professional wrestler who served as the 38th Governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003. Ventura served as a Navy UDT member during the Vietnam War.
March 29, 2002 — Governor Ventura has renewed his threats to veto any proposed tax increases by the Legislature and hinted he may call lawmakers back for a special session. Ventura said he was unhappy that only a few lawmakers are negotiating their budget balancing, transportation and bonding proposals behind closed doors. Senate DFLers and House Republicans have dramatically different plans and have scheduled open conference committee hearings to resolve their differences for Monday. Minnesota Public Radio's Tom Scheck reports....
March 25, 2002 — BENSON: The Minnesota House is expected to vote soon on a ballpark financing plan first proposed by Governor Jesse Ventura's administration. The plan relies on an investment fund created by the team, other private partners, and possibly a local government to repay stadium construction costs over 30 years. Supporters say the package removes all new state taxes, fees, or surcharges that were found in previous plans -- but opponents worry state assistance has simply been been replaced with local taxes. Minnesota Public Radio's Michael Khoo has been following the debate and joins us now from the Capitol. Michael, this particular plan seems to have picked up a lot of steam since it was unveiled earlier this month. How has it been received in the House? KHOO: Lorna, I think most observers expect this plan to pass the House -- which would be a major accomplishment in the ongoing ballpark debate. The House has always been considered the more skeptical body when it comes to ballpark legislation, and so for this plan to find traction here is a significant shift. That comes for two reasons, I think. One is the mood has changed for many lawmakers -- and perhaps for the public -- after Major League Baseball threatened the Twins with elimination. The so-called "contraction debate" has created a new sense of urgency. But I think a more important reason is the new plan -- called the Sausen plan after Peter Sausen, an assistant finance commissioner in the Ventura adminstration who drafted the proposal. BENSON: That plan has been adopted by House lawmakers and has formed the blueprint for the bill they're currently debating. What makes the Sausen (SAW-sin) plan more attractive? KHOO: In the Sausen plan, the state uses its borrowing power to raise $330 million at low-interest rates for the ballpark. The Twins, meanwhile -- along with private partners and most likely a local government partner, would contribute half that amount into a gift fund. The fund is then expected to earn tax free returns a
January 18, 2002 — City and county leaders throughout the state have been complaining about Governor Ventura's budget deficit plan for about a week. Many worry the proposal cuts too much state aid to local governments. Some state nursing home workers may be without jobs. And the governor's plan cuts money that would go to rural road expansion and repairs. Mainstreet Radio's Laurel Druley has this report.
January 16, 2002 — City leaders in Northern Minnesota are meeting in Duluth today to discuss how Governor Ventura's budget proposal would affect THEIR budgets. The meeting has been organized by the League of Minnesota Cities, with prompting from Duluth Mayor Gary Doty, who has expressed concern about the proposal. Governor Ventura released his plans for closing a nearly two billion dollar projected shortfall last week, and they included cuts in local government aid. Jim Miller is the Executive Director of the League of Minnesota Cities. He's on the line now. That's Jim Miller, the Executive Director of the League of Minnesota Cities. His group is sponsering a meeting today on the impact of Governor Ventura's budget proposal on northern Minnesota cities.
January 15, 2002 — The push to combining the two bodies of legislature into one has been a personal drive for the governor. If the two bodies are one, or unicameral, the government would run more efficiently.
January 14, 2002 — Governor Jesse Ventura will release details of his administration's bonding proposals at a press conference this morning. Unlike last week's budget plan which focused on cutting expenditures, the bonding bill is a list of capital projects that the government will borrow money to build. Some legislators say the bonding bill is an opportunity to stimulate the state's economy. Joining us on the line with a primer on the bonding bill is Gene Merriam, a former DFL state senator, and long-time chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. That's former state Senator Gene Merriam. Merriam says another reason he expects a big bonding bill this sesssion is the low interest rates that are now available.
January 11, 2002 — Sacrifice needs to be made by all parts of the budgets. Republicans want higher tax on gasoline and tobacco. Democrats what more money for education. Ventura invites suggestions to improve the budget.
January 10, 2002 — Ventura did not hide behind quick decisions. Everybody is sharing the hurt.
January 10, 2002 — Much of the reception to Ventura's deficit reduction plan is icy. Social program advocates and local government officials say Ventura is balancing the state budget at their expense. Tax opponents say Ventura's plans for higher gasoline, tobacco and sales taxes hurt working Minnesotans. Minnesota Public Radio's Tom Scheck reports...
January 10, 2002 — Wheelock said that the budget talks at the capitol have been rough over the past couple of years. The reserved money cannot be accessed. There are some parts of the budget that should not be cut, but there is no alternate solution.