Gov. Pawlenty relies on some one-time money to balance the state's budget.
Here are some of the bigger pots he relies on:
$387 million in Extended Federal Medicaid Match (plan hasn't been passed into law yet)
$30 million from the Doug Johnson Economic Protection Trust Fund
$10 million from Statewide Health Improvement Program
$5 million from the 21st Century Minerals Fund
$1 million from Section 125 grants
$1 million from Medical Education Research Cost Grants
$1.9 million one-time cut to ethanol producer payments
Side note: Pawlenty also cut $3.2 million from the special diet program. The folks who rely on that program succesfully sued Pawlenty over his unilateral budget cuts. The Minnesota Supreme Court will hold oral arguments on the case in March.
Faced with a crisis, decisions have to be made ... painful ones, obviously.
1. ) But why is the Governor still protecting ethanol ? It looks like he has made a partial cut, when he could have taken a much larger chunk ... or eliminated it entirely. You will have to confirm this, but I believe the subsidy is $12,168,000 scheduled for 2010 and the additional $12,168,000 for 2011, and it goes on… with $19,790,000 still scheduled for fiscal 2012-2013.
2.) What is known about the Section 125 experience ... has Minnesota paid out a lot in the past ? Essentially, the Governor has eliminated the entire budget since it was created to be funded in 2008 at $1 million ... the next question, will this impact employers who now will have to fund it completely alone as there is now no help when the establish programs for employees to purchase health insurance with pre-tax dollars .... then again, I don't know how much was used in the past.