The upshot of the Minnesota Supreme Court’s unallotment ruling is that nobody can say for certain exactly how large a budget deficit the state faces in the current biennium. But House Majority Leader Tony Sertich expressed confidence today that the Legislature can still finish its business before its scheduled adjournment in less than two weeks.
“It is eminently doable to get this done,” Sertich said. “Legislatures and governors that have come before us have moved mountains within the last week of session. I know this legislature is up to the task of doing that as well.”
Legislative leaders are expected to huddle with Pawlenty in the next 24 hours to discuss what happens next. But Sertich indicated that he believes some kind of revenue increase will have to be part of the budget solution.
“No one to this day has been able to balance our current state budget without revenue, including the governor,” said Sertich, a DFLer from Chisolm. “So I think all options need to be on the table right now.”
Sertich also indicated that he believes Pawlenty should rescind the $2.7 billion in unilateral cuts that he made last year. Otherwise he fears that there will be additional litigation forthcoming.
“What I would not like to see is more lawsuits right now,” he said. “It’s probably appropriate for the governor to rescind his unallotments to make sure there aren’t any more lawsuits.”