Pawlenty to announce unallotment plans this weekby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he'll announce this week which programs he intends to cut to balance the state's budget.
Pawlenty plans to use his emergency authority to erase a $2.7 billion deficit. The Republican governor decided not to call lawmakers back for a special session, after he failed to reach a budget agreement with Democrats in control of the Legislature.
"The way we've got it structured is that we'll say 'Here's what we're planning to do and proposing to do' and then we'll take some more input, get some reaction from the Legislative Advisory Commission and perhaps some other stakeholders and perhaps we'll finalize it down the road," Pawlenty said.
Officials with hospitals, nursing homes and other organizations have said they're looking at their legal options to see whether they can stop the cuts in the courts. Pawlenty said he thinks he's on solid legal ground.
Pawlenty said he's considering cuts to health and human services programs, state aid to local government and higher education.
"There isn't any real mystery as to what's boxed off because the federal government won't allow us to touch it and we've committed to try to only differ and not permanently reduce school payments," Pawlenty said. "That leaves the other categories."
By law, he can't make the cuts until July 1, which is the start of the fiscal year.