By Grace Kelly–
Minnesota Senator Bakk explains how the budget proposed by the legislature differs from the unallotment by Republican Governor Pawlenty. The $1.8 billion education payment shift does not have a future budget or a law to pay back that shift. Even if education payment shift can be paid back, it results in $20-$40 interest cost per a pupil. The senate proposed a shared-pain approach that used federal stimulus money to backfill the education cut.
Since the governor basically would not negotiate, $72 million additional funds (according to Pawlenty’s Finance Commissioner Tom Hanson) were lost in federal matching dollars due to the way the unallotment was applied. Most of those funds could been saved in careful negotiation. The next governor starts with a $7.3 budget deficit.