DFLers in the Legislature have criticized Gov. Tim Pawlenty for threatening to veto a proposed restrictions on his budget-cutting authority without even seeing the bill.
Well, the Republican governor has seen the legislation now. And he doesn’t like it.
“The governor does not support this bill,” Brian McClung, the governor’s deputy chief of staff, told reporters Wednesday afternoon. “From our perspective, the proposal would gut the authority that is sometimes needed to balance the state’s budget.”
The governor is open to considering some revision to the solo-budget cutting authority, known as unallotment.
“But not something along these lines,” McClung said. “This proposal simply doesn’t work.”
Earlier in the day, House Finance Committee Chairman Lyndon Carlson and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Richard Cohen unveiled legislation that puts new restrictions on the governor’s unallotment authority.
Pawlenty’s unprecedented use of unallotment after the 2009 legislative session prompted the proposal, the DFL lawmakers said.
The proposed changes would limit how much a governor can cut unilaterally and prevents the state’s chief executive from changing payment formulas or eligibility standards.
At a news conference, Carlson and Cohen said if Pawlenty vetoes the legislation, they’d propose it again next year – when there’s a new governor in office.