Mayors from around Minnesota are scheduled to hold a news conference in St. Paul tomorrow to call on the governor to spare them when it comes to budget cuts. They say cuts in state aid will mean higher property taxes and a reduction in core services.
Gov. Pawlenty met with members of his cabinet this morning to discuss the programs that could be cut as he uses his executive authority to balance the state's next two-year budget. Pawlenty needs to cut $2.7 billion dollars in state spending using what's called unallotment.
After his cabinet meeting the governor said he intends to seek advice from local government officials, state lawmakers, health care representatives and the public.
"This isn't the process that I would have chosen or would have preferred but it is the process that we now have to use or now will use," Pawlenty said. "It's important that we have a balanced budget in Minnesota. The legislative process didn't get it done but it needs to get done so the responsibility now falls to me and my administration."
Pawlenty didn't offer specifics on which programs will be cut, but he said he intends to delay payments to schools. He also suggested he may cut aid to local governments and health care programs.
"People all across Minnesota in their family lives, in their business lives, in their employment lives are taking flat revenues or in many cases reductions compared to a year or two ago," he said. "So I don't want to hear from mayors or city council members that they can't take any reduction at all."