Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The great union: Pawlenty's Minnesota teams up with Wisconsin

The money-saving details are out.

With the two states [Minnesota and Wisconsin] facing multibillion-dollar budget deficits, Pawlenty and Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle signed executive orders directing their administrations to identify areas of possible cooperation between the states, with recommendations due by the end of February.

The governors outlined areas where the states could jointly save money, including the purchase of road salt, prison food, bulldozers and software. They also said the states could share equipment like helicopters and patrol boats and could explore consolidated or shared functions for call centers, collections, licensing and back-office work.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty:

"This is an historic agreement between our two states that can serve as a model for the rest of the country."

So who's merging next? Border states are the likeliest candidates; so that potential Massachusetts/Utah union is out. Florida might want to team up with Alabama. But the question is, would Alabama want to team up with Florida?