Minneapolis prepares budget cuts in response to gov's planby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — Minneapolis city officials say they will likely make pre-emptive budget cuts in response to Gov. Pawlenty's proposed supplemental budget. The governor's plan would cut state aid to Minneapolis by nearly $30 million.
City officials say it's better to make cuts now, rather than wait several more weeks for the Legislature to pass the budget
The logic of pre-emptive budget cutting goes like this: If you have to cut, say $12 million dollars from your budget, the process is easier if you start in January because you'll only have to find $1 million per month to cut. But if you start in June, you'll have to find $2 million a month.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak says right now he and other city officials are crafting a supplemental budget that will contain contingency plans for different scenarios.
Rybak, a DFLer who is also running for governor, says it's too early to predict how many more city employees will lose their jobs. But he says there will be cuts.
"This is a big number. It's a very deep cut proposed for the city," said Rybak. "I'll do what mayors all around the state are doing right now -- is to make some pretty painful decisions."
Rybak repeated his mantra that public safety is his top priority. However, this year, the police department has already laid off 10 sworn officers. The police department also cut 30 administrative staff.
During the most recent budget process, City Council members also had to do some creative financing to save more than two dozen firefighter positions.
For the fourth time during his tenure as mayor, Rybak will have to redo his budget proposal because of state aid cuts.
"Like we've been doing for eight years, we'll be handling tough times, making tough decisions and we'll keep making the city run. This sure doesn't make it any easier," he said.
Rybak says the supplemental budget will be ready within a month.
- All Things Considered, 02/16/2010, 5:24 p.m.