Editorial: Budget news loomsMinnesota finance officials will issue an economic forecast for the state today, and by many accounts the news isn’t expected to be good.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
Minnesota finance officials will issue an economic forecast for the state today, and by many accounts the news isn’t expected to be good.
Some predictions see Minnesota revenues falling as much as $1 billion short of expectations, according to a Forum Communications report Saturday. This, of course, means additional difficult decisions on budget issues at the state level — and, almost certainly, at the municipal and county levels, too.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty, despite a 2002 campaign promise to leave LGA (local government aid) untouched, has instead made drastic reductions to it during his tenure. To be fair, when Pawlenty made the promise, economic conditions were markedly different. Still, it’s difficult to dispute that cuts made to LGA have hurt a number of communities significantly, and the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (of which Worthington is a member) has indicated it plans to make LGA a significant issue during the 2010 Legislative session — especially if Pawlenty slashes local aid further in the wake of today’s forecast.
With regard to the coming session, it should go without saying that it’s shaping up to be a doozy. A suggestion of an early special session made last month by Tom Bakk (a state senator and DFL candidate for governor) is not a bad idea, particularly in the wake of what’s imminent — and we haven’t even addressed what could could transpire should Pawlenty’s unallotment action earlier this year is successfully challenged legally. Either way, there’s going to be an awful lot for lawmakers to sort through.