Unallotment in Minnesota

An unusual executive power is being put into practice in Minnesota.  Governor Tim Pawlenty is “unalloting” funds. That is, taking away $2.7 billion in proposed spending from the budget in order to balance it.  Unallotment has been used four times since 1939.  The governor has refused to raise more taxes to cover proposed spending putting him at odds with legislators, unions, and program beneficiaries.

The Minnesotan response to its $4.6 billion shortfall differs markedly from the Californian, as Kimberly Strassel at The Wall Street Journal notes, “a refreshing break from the financial-crisis norm.”

The  governor is asking cities and counties, “how much should I cut?,” from their piece of state aid, while 201 state legislators got letters asking for their budget cut recommendations.   Something to watch in the coming days – what will local governments suggest?

Minnesota operates under a two-year budget with the new budget beginning July 1 leaving a few weeks for cuts to be identified.

If you’re curious about unallotment in Minnesota law, you can read  more here.