By Baird Helgeson
Minnesota DFL lawmakers have asked Gov. Tim Pawlenty to submit a list of proposed budget cuts to deal with the projected $1.2 billion deficit for the next 19 months.
In a letter sent Thursday, three DFL committee chairman ask the governor to submit budget recommendations quickly so they can craft a new budget.
“It is up to us to work together to craft a balanced budget to preserve Minnesota’s quality of life, grow jobs and lay the foundation for economic growth,” wrote House Finance Committee Chairman Lyndon Carlson, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Loren Solberg and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Richard Cohen.
Pawlenty didn’t say when or if he would acquiesce to their budget requests. Instead, he wrote back Friday inviting lawmakers to join his effort.
The governor told the lawmakers his administration is developing a range of options to deal with the shortfall, reiterating his pledge to not raise taxes. “We invite your participation in this effort to find a collaborative solution,” he wrote.
Pawlenty told the lawmakers he asked Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Tom Hanson and legislative affairs director Chris DeLaForest to meet with them discuss developing a joint solution.