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Legislative Session Ends, Community Leaders Worry About Where Pawlenty’s Axe Will Fall.

A little after midnight last night, the Minnesota House and Senate adjourned.

The legislature was able to make some headway on closing the budget deficit, a task made even more difficult after Governor Pawlenty vetoed the legislature’s proposals to balance the budget by making state taxes fair.

The Governor has made it clear that he would rather place Minnesota’s budget burden on the families that are struggling to make ends meet, pushing tens of thousands off of state health care, cutting local government aid, and delaying payments to school districts across the state.

No one really knows where Governor Pawlenty’s axe will fall, creating uncertainty in local governments.

Donna Welsh, finance director for Mower County, this morning said officials are worried about Gov. Tim Pawlenty making deeper cuts in state aid to counties, which would trickle down to taxpayers through higher property taxes.

"That’s sad," Welsh said, adding there’s concern about higher levels of state-aid unallotments for this year through 2011.

Uncertainty about Governor Pawlenty’s unallotments is the last thing local governments need.  Austin was hit late last year with a  $500,000 unallotment and the Governor’s budget proposal proposed reducing local government aid (which has previously made up 54% of the city’s revenue) by $1.7 million over the next two years.



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