Explainer: What is unallotment anyway?

Unallotment is executive power the governor of Minnesota may exercise under certain circumstances to cut the state budget or delay payments without the Legislature's approval.

The Minnesota Legislature formally gave the governor this power in 1939 after Gov. Harold Stassen needed to cut the state budget following an economic recession. The law was aimed at giving the governor power to protect the state from financial crisis.

According to the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, Gov. Al Quie was the first governor to use unallotment, which happened in the early 1980s.

Gov. Rudy Perpich and Pawlenty were the next governors to use it. But Pawlenty is the only governor who has used it at the beginning of a two-year budget cycle.

For more information about unallotment and its history in Minnesota, check out these links:

Unallotment guide from the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Report on history of unallotment power by Senate Counsel

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