Governor Tim Pawlenty and legislative leaders are scheduled to meet this afternoon in his office to discuss the state’s short-term budget deficit.
The Republican governor is poised to begin using his emergency authority to solve the $426 million shortfall. The budget reserve will provide $155 million, leaving a hole of $271 million that needs to be filled with unspent, available funds. House Democrats formally weighed in today with a list of budgetary principles they want Pawlenty to consider as he begins the unallotment. In a letter to the governor, DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher wrote it is important not to jeopardize public safety by unalloting aid payments to local units of government. She also encouraged the governor to keep resources flowing to Minnesota classrooms and avoid any cuts that would result in layoffs.
Senate DFL leaders last week recommended an approach to spread the pain proportionately. They favor across the board spending cuts of 1.6 percent.