Posted at 11:43 AM on May 5, 2010
by Paul Tosto
"Unallotment" is a non-word that's become part of our Minnesota budget vocabulary in the past year since Gov. Pawlenty used the power to make deep cuts to balance the state budget.
Minnesota's Supreme Court this morning rejected Pawlenty's use of "unallotment" power to make those deep budget cuts.
We're sorting through the decision and its potential implications. You can help us on that score.
What cuts have you seen? What's been the impact? How will the Supreme Court decision change that?
Post something below or contact us directly. Share an insight and help MPR's reporting.
Jim Hurm, city administrator, Austin:The City of Austin has lost $2.1 million in LGA over the last 16 months. Our annual budget is about $14 million. Cities were not part of the "unallotment" lawsuit and have taken a significantly harder hit than other areas of the state budget. Austin's City employment is down to 138, a drop in jobs of about 2 a year over the last 25 years. We are lean and do well in financial management. More cuts in LGA, as announced today, and levy limits will mean even more local government jobs in poor outstate communities. Goodbye "Minnesota Miracle."
Pat Sharbonda, Supervisor, Crow Wing County Social Services: It's too early to tell exactly how the ruling will impact the budget for the remainder of 2010 and as we move into 2011. The greatest fear is that if all the funding that was unallotted is restored that will increase the shortfall which will require deeper cuts then already planned. So it's kind of a mixed bag... I am glad that they ruled the way they did.
MPR News has comments posted from Gov. Pawlenty, Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Senate Minority Leader David Senjem (R-Rochester) and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.
MPR higher education reporter Tim Post reports that neither the University of Minnesota nor Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system expect to get their $50 million funding cuts back because of today's decision.
League of Minnesota Cities: "While the decision only directly affects the cuts to dietary aid program, it certainly leaves in political and legal limbo the validity of the remainder of last summer's unallotment decision - including the $192 million of local government aid and market value homestead cuts effectuated last July and this January."