Pawlenty to propose ways to cut spending before Feb. session

Governor Tim Pawlenty said he will recommend ways to cut state spending before the Legislative session begins on February 4th.

Pawlenty's early budget proposal would give lawmakers a running start on solving a projected $1.2 billion deficit in the current two-year budget.

Last session, the Republican governor used his executive authority to balance the budget on his own when he could not reach an agreement with DFL leaders. Pawlenty told reporters again Monday that he wants to avoid a similar scenario this time, but he did not rule it out.

"We'd like to work with the Legislature to forge a solution that they're fully involved with and sign off on, and pass bills that I can sign into law. But it remains to be seen if they're willing or able to do that," Pawlenty said.

DFL Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller said the sooner legislators get a supplemental budget proposal the better.

House and Senate budget committees are planning hearings next month.

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