The House State and Local Government Operations Reform, Technology and Elections Committee approved a bill that would change the way the governor can use unallotment during a budget deficit.
HF2866, sponsored by Rep. Lyndon Carlson Sr. (DFL-Crystal), would limit the expenditure amounts the governor can eliminate to no more than 2 percent of the General Fund, could not go beyond 10 percent of any appropriation and would limit an unallotment to any portion of a projected deficit that was not known at the completion of the legislative session.
David Schultz, a professor in the Hamline University School of Business, said the current process violates the separation of powers by effectively giving the governor the power to veto legislation a second time.
Rep. Mark Buesgens (R-Jordan) said that while the current statute may be a matter of philosophical differences, by only allowing fixed percentages it could possibly force a governor to call a special session if the amount unallotted wouldn’t solve the budget deficit.
The bill now goes to the House Finance Committee.