Henn. Co. set to pass $1.7 billion budget for '09by Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
Hennepin County commissioners are expected on Tuesday to approve a budget for 2009, but the cutting might not be done.
St. Paul, Minn. — The $1.7 billion spending plan is 2.4 percent larger than this year's budget, but most budget decisions were made before the state announced a projected $5.2 billion deficit.
Commissioner Randy Johnson says the state numbers could mean commissioners will be forced to reopen the budget in a few months and make more cuts.
"It's not a matter of doing more with less, it's a matter of doing less with less," said Johnson, at a recent budget hearing. "But it's also an opportunity for us to look at new ways of doing business."
The budget cuts 240 positions from all county government, and nearly $5 million from human services.
A growing number of city and county leaders across the state are worried that the state deficit could mean cuts in Local Government Aid for them. In Hennepin County, 12 percent of the budget comes from state sources.
Those local leaders also say the timing is bad because the public assistance services they provide typically rise in demand during slow economic times.