Today’s budget forecast projects that the state is facing a $1.2 billion deficit for the current 2010-2011 biennium and a $5.4 billion deficit for the 2012-2013 biennium. Documentation on the budget forecast is available here.
To close the current biennium’s $1.2 billion budget gap, Governor Pawlenty noted in a press conference today that he would prefer to work with the legislature on the final solution. However, the governor also cited that because the December 2009 LGA payment is due in a matter a weeks, it will likely be impacted regardless of the legislature’s input. This means the December LGA payment could be reduced through unallotment, delayed, or a combination of both.
In response to this news, Wadena Mayor Wayne Wolden, CGMC spokesperson and former CGMC president, issued the following statement:
“It is outrageous that all signs are pointing to local communities being asked again to disproportionately bear the burden of balancing the state’s budget. Communities are repeatedly targeted for cuts, yet the state’s long-term structural budget problems persist. It’s time to pursue meaningful solutions that actually improve the stability of Minnesota’s financial future.
“This news couldn’t come at a worse time for Minnesota cities. The result of additional cuts to LGA—on top of the $150 million cut from last June—will mean that Minnesota families will see even higher property taxes and deeper cuts to public safety, libraries, parks, winter snow plowing.
“Minnesotans have had it with the lack of leadership at the Capitol. It is long time for the governor and legislature to show some backbone and work together to address the state’s financial situation.”