Legislators to address short-term budget deficit
St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota's short-term budget deficit is the focus of a legislative hearing Monday.
The House Finance Committee will hear from the public, as well as the state agencies and higher education institutions that are likely targets for budget cuts.
Minnesota is facing a deficit that will top $426 million in the current two-year budget.
Governor Tim Pawlenty will first use $155 million from the budget reserve, leaving a hole of more than $271 million to be filled.
The committee's chairman, Rep. Lyndon Carlson, D-Crystal, said the state has about $946 million in unspent funds, but it is not all available for cuts.
"We have set aside $38 million for the bridge survivors, and that's unallocated yet because they're still working on the settlement. Well, nobody is going to be touching that. We know that's not available," Carlson said.
Governor Pawlenty could begin using his emergency authority to make budget cuts, when he returns Tuesday from a trade trip to Israel.