The Minnesota Supreme Court will hear oral arguments March 15 in a case challenging Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s authority to unilaterally make cuts to the state budget.
In December, a judge ruled that the Republican governor overstepped his authority by cutting $5.3 million from a state nutrition program. While the ruling, by Ramsey County District Court Judge Kathleen Gearin, was narrow in scope, it potentially jeopardized $2.7 billion in cuts that Pawlenty made through his so-called unallotment authority.
The Pawlenty administration immediately appealed the ruling and asked the state’s top court to consider the case in an expedited manner. Today the Minnesota Supreme Court granted that request in an order signed by Chief Justice Eric Magnuson . The state’s initial brief is due on Feb. 9.
A similar case challenging the governor’s unallotment authority was thrown out by Gearin earlier this month.