Ramsey County District Court Judge Kathleen Gearin has issued a Temporary Restraining Order in a case challenging Gov. Pawlenty's unallotment authority. Gearin ordered the TRO to be retroactive to November 1st and ordered MMB's Commissioner to reinstate the cuts to the special diet program. A hearing is scheduled for March 10th. You can read the full order here.
Galen Robinson, who is representing six people who were no longer eligible for the special diet program, told MPR News that the decision is a huge victory:
"We're just relieved that our clients will be able to purchase the food that they need to stay healthy going forward
Gov. Pawlenty issued this statement on the decision:
"We are disappointed in the judge's decision. We are weighing all of our options including appeal, reestablishing unallotments under the current forecast, potential legislative action, and other options."
DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher told MPR News that "It really validates that there was an overreach of executive power in the governor's action in the last legislative session." Here's her full statement:
Today's ruling represents a victory for all Minnesotans concerned about the overreach of executive authority. I applaud Judge Gearin's order and look forward to a full hearing on this case early next year. As I said earlier, this is an important case about the separation of powers in state government. The legislative and executive branches of government need to be equal partners in addressing Minnesota's budget crisis.
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