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The recent budget announcement from the Governor Tim Pawlenty was met with a number of skeptical responses, but one of the responses was especially concerning for all drivers:

"We’ll be plowing streets every other blizzard” is how Wadena mayor Wayne Wolden put it.

It wasn’t clear if he was kidding.

Wolden did point out that when his city was hit by a snowstorm on a recent weekend, no streets were plowed until Monday.

"We are not paying overtime,” he explained.

There’s been all sorts of discussion that cuts to local governments (purposed at 25% in the governors budget) will lead to reduced municipal and county jobs. Less police, fireman, road workers, and plow drivers. All of these would be vital losses for Minnesotan drivers.

It’s clear that the money has got to come from somewhere, but when the Governor comes to the table with his hands already tied by old campaign promises, there really is no real negotiation. Minnesota has always been great at clearing the roads, in part because of a lot of practice, but also because it’s important. It’s one thing to read about southern states shutting down with a inch of snow, we simply can’t have that happen here.

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