Judge wants quick decision in MN budget disputeby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The judge and both parties in the case involving Gov. Pawlenty's budget-cutting authority have agreed to a fast-track appeals process.
Judge Kathleen Gearin said in an order on Friday that there is "no just reason for delay" and said an immediate review by a higher court will help sort out the state's budget problems. Gearin ruled last month that Pawlenty misused his authority known as unallotment last July, and the judge reinstated funding for a nutrition program for the poor.
Galen Robinson, who sued the state, said he agreed to the fast-track of the appeal after attorneys for the state agreed to not hold up payments to his clients.
"We've heard from a number of our clients as well as people that aren't named in the suit that they really need these benefits reinstated quickly and this guarantees that those benefits will be paid as quickly as possible and they'll continue to be paid throughout the pendency of the appeal," Robinson said.
A spokesman for Gov. Pawlenty said the state's appeal is still in process and will not be filed on Friday.