Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty quickly vetoed a bill Thursday that would have kept alive an expiring state health care plan for more than 30,000 low-income adults.
Pawlenty vetoes bill to save expiring Minn. health plan
The program is ending April 1 because the Republican governor withdrew funding last year. Earlier Thursday, the Democratic-controlled House and Senate had overwhelmingly approved a bill to extend it.
Pawlenty vetoed the bill from Washington, where he was on political business. In his veto message, the governor said it was "premature at best" to extend the program through June 2011, at a cost of $284 million, before the Legislature has addressed the state's $1.2 billion budget deficit.
"Legislation that appropriates significant funds simply cannot be passed in a piecemeal fashion," Pawlenty wrote. "A comprehensive, balanced budget solution must first be reached."
The plan to continue a pared-back version of the General Assistance Medical Care program passed with bipartisan support in both chambers — 125-9 in the House and 47-16 in the Senate.
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