Minn. House tells court governor abused budget law

AP News
Posted: Nov 20, 2009 5:21 PM

Lawyers for the Minnesota House spell out in a 34-page brief why they believe Gov. Tim Pawlenty misused a state law to enact budget cuts without legislative consent.

The brief filed Friday supports a lawsuit challenging some of the $2.7 billion in cuts made by Pawlenty. Specifically, six plaintiffs want a court to restore money for food assistance and property tax credits for the poor.

The brief was authorized on a party-line vote by a Democratic controlled committee and written by nonpartisan staff.

It warns that allowing the cuts to stand would give governors "unfettered discretion" to invoke a rarely used budget-cutting authority intended for fiscal emergencies.

A judge is currently considering whether to stop the cuts while the case moves forward.