The state's top finance official started the unallotment process today by notifying Gov. Pawlenty that conditions exist for the governor to balance the budget on his own.
Tom Hanson, commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget, sent a letter to the governor saying the state is facing a shortfall of $2.7 billion.
He wrote the "probable receipts for the general fund will be less than anticipated," and that it will be necessary to reduce allotments of appropriations or transfers for the next budget cycle.
The letter is not a surprise, but is a necessary step to allow Pawlenty to balance the budget on his own.
Pawlenty announced last month that he would use his unallotment power after he failed to reach a budget deal with Democrats in control of the Legislature.
By law, Pawlenty can't officially cut any programs until July 1, the start of the new year.