The governor of Minnesota is currently the only person who has the authority to call a special legislative session. But Democrats, chafing at Gov. Tim Pawlenty's hardball budget tactics, hope to change that reality by amending the state's constitution.
One of the first things they tell you in law school -- which is later confirmed by actual legal experience -- is that nine times out of ten the lines of questioning in oral argument are irrelevant to the reasoning of the ultimate decision.
Three Minnesota residents who depend on the state's General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) program to pay for their health care filed suit today in Ramsey County District Court in an effort to keep the program running, despite Gov. Tim Pawlenty's plan to eliminate it.
Local government officials have a simple message for Gov. Tim Pawlenty : We can't cut any more. "Our cities are as lean as it gets," Eagan Mayor Mike Maguire said at a legislative hearing on Monday, "and we're going to start hitting bone if we haven't already."
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.
Why the difference between this ruling and the temporary restraining order that Gearin issued on December 30 in the Brayton suit over a nutrition program? Gearin's ruling suggests that her decision was a matter of the grounds on which Carney's case was made: The second action did not mount a constitutional argument against Pawlenty's action.
The Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE) released a list this morning of more than 30 of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's political appointees -- a list that MAPE believes should be re-examined in light of the state's massive budget deficit and the governor's unallotments.
This morning I talked by phone with Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller about the Gearin decision and the meeting between Gov. Tim Pawlenty and legislative leaders this Friday. Among the questions on Pogemiller's mind: What difference would it really make if the Legislature authorized a school payment shift, as Pawlenty is now asking?
Ramsey County Chief Judge Kathleen Guerin made a good decision for the state, and a spectacular one for GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Minnesota Republicans.
So now what? The implications of Judge Kathleen Gearin's order suspending a portion of the budget cuts singlehandedly imposed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty last summer will likely take months to play themselves out. But here's a quick spin through some of what Donald Rumsfeld would call the "known unknowns" to watch in the days and weeks ahead.
Last summer, when House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL-Minneapolis) and other DFL legislators were meeting with groups touched by Gov. Tim Pawlenty's unallotments to discuss legal options, one of the key consiglieres in behind-the-scenes deliberations was David Lillehaug, the former U.S. Attorney and DFL activist. PIM spoke with Lillehaug on Wednesday evening, a couple of hours after the [...]
"[The order] clearly lays out that the way Gov. Pawlenty used unallotment at the end of the last legislative session was not constitutional," Kelliher told PIM. "The governor took a go-it-alone attitude, and when you are facing a budget crisis of the size and magnitude we are, that is unacceptable."
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