The Ax-Man cometh


Gov. Tim Pawlenty will announce unallotment targets – or something like that – at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the PiPress. This isn’t the actual unallotment, but rather an announcement of his plan. In theory, he’s still open to hearing other voices, but given T-Paw’s record on listening to people who disagree with him on budget issues, that’s not likely to move him off target. The likely targets? Local government, health care, higher ed, and fancy footwork with funding shifts for K-12 education.

T-Paw is legally required to present his plan to the four-member Legislative Advisory Committee “fr review,” but the committee has no power to reject anything. Over at MinnPost, Hamline University law professor David Schultz makes an argument that Pawlenty’s power to unallot is not total, citing “a basic rule in law regarding statutory interpretation:”

One should interpret laws to avoid absurd results and avoid conflicts with other laws. Here, if one accepts the governor’s reading of unallotment, it would mean he alone has the power to change fiscal priorities for the state or that he could use this power to negate laws establishing statutory authorized policies. One result is absurd; the other produces a conflict in the laws.

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