Minn. high court sets budget-cuts case for Marchby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Supreme Court has agreed to take quick action on a ruling that undercuts Gov. Pawlenty's authority to balance the budget by himself.
Justices set arguments for March 15 in Pawlenty's appeal of a lower court's ruling, after a judge said he abused his authority to unilaterally cut spending.
Pawlenty and attorneys who filed the suit asked for quick action because it could have a major impact on the state's budget problem.
Pawlenty and the Legislature need to know the extent of the state's budget problem.
In December, Ramsey County Judge Kathleen Gearin reinstated funds for a special diet program for low-income Minnesotans that Pawlenty cut in July. She also suggested other parties affected by Pawlenty's budget balancing measure could join the suit.
In July 2009, Pawlenty cut $2.7 billion to balance the state's budget after he failed to reach a budget deal with the Legislature.
Briefs are due beginning Feb. 9. A ruling is likely to take days or weeks after the March orgal arguments.