Monday, March 15, 2010

Unallotments and seperation of powers

Governor Tim Pawlenty's lawyers are at at the Minnesota Supreme Court today, arguing a case regarding his use of unallotments in last year's state budget. In short, he took the budget passed by the (Democratically controlled) state legislature, and used the obscure gubernatorial power of unallotment to make unilateral cuts in spending, citing the dire straights of the state budget deficits. The victims of one of those cuts took them to court, alleging that his use of unallotments was unconstitutional. MinnPost reports:

In doing so, said Justice Helen Meyer, the governor “by definition, [is] not giving full effect to a law passed by the Legislature.” Instead, the governor is “deciding which laws to give full effect to.”

Now it's up to the Supreme Court to decide how much power the Governor has, and how deep a budgetary hole the state is really in.

1 comment:

  1. I seem to remember Presidents, most recently "W" doing the same thing.

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