Responses to unallotment ruling
St. Paul, Minn. — Responses released by legislators and state leaders following the 4-3 decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court that Gov. Tim Pawlenty overstepped his authority when he made unilateral cuts last year to balance the state's budget.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty
"I strongly disagree with this 4-3 decision by the court. Nonetheless it will require the legislature and my administration to address its budget impacts. The funds do not exist to reinstate my unallotments and the state budget needs to be balanced without raising taxes. I call upon the DFL-controlled legislature to ratify the unallotments I enacted last year.
"I will fight to reduce spending and taxes in Minnesota and that battle continues. My commitment to the people of Minnesota remains the same: we will balance the budget without raising taxes."
Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher
"Once again, the courts have affirmed that Governor Pawlenty acted unconstitutionally by walking away from the table and turning his back on the legislature and the people of Minnesota during a challenging budget crisis. This is exactly why I'm running for governor. We need a governor who will sit down with people and work out solutions to our toughest problems. This is what Minnesotans expect from their leaders. "As Speaker, I offered three balanced budgets and fought to protect Minnesota's priorities. As Governor, I will work with the legislature to create a balanced budget that strengthens Minnesota, protects our values and moves our state forward on the road to economic recovery."
Senate Minority Leader David Senjem (R-Rochester)
"Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher and the House DFL Majority went to court and were rewarded with the ruling they desired. They now have a leadership responsibility to solve the budget deficit that the ruling dramatically compounded.
Nearly 90 percent of the 2010 session has passed us by and the DFL-controlled legislature has failed to present a comprehensive budget plan, as the Governor did, nearly three months ago.
With less than two weeks to go, the Senate DFL Majority is just now releasing their Health and Human Services and K-12 budget plans. It is imperative that the Minnesota Senate move to balance the budget as we are constitutionally obligated to do."
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman
"The Supreme Court has rightly rejected the Governor's go-it-alone strategy that has marked his eight years in office. While that approach may have served his presidential ambitions, it has not served the people of our state. Minnesotans are tired of political games - they want realistic solutions. They want police officers on their streets and good teachers in their classrooms. Today's ruling is a call to action for the Governor to return to the table and work with the legislature to get the job done."
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak
"The Supreme Court decision today restores proper balance between the executive and legislative branches. It does not, however, alter the reality that the State of Minnesota is in a deep fiscal crisis. At moments like these, Minnesotans have a right to expect that all sides at the Capitol will demonstrate the highest level of statesmanship and will come together around a unified vision for our state."
Common Cause Minnesota and the League of Women Voters
"Common Cause Minnesota and the League of Women Voters Minnesota applaud the decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court to protect the most basic tenant of our democracy -- separation of powers.
While the court did not specifically rule on the constitutionality of Minnesota's unallotment statute, it provided necessary guidance on how unallotment should occur without disrupting the balance of power between the three branches of government. The need for preserving this balance was the central argument in a brief submitted by Common Cause and the League of Women Voters Minnesota."