ST. PAUL – State Rep. Dean Urdahl has communicated with legislative leaders and Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s staff regarding the possible reduction in payments made to Minnesota’s cities and counties.
Minnesota faces a $426 million shortfall for the current fiscal year, ending June 30. Projections call for a deficit of more than $5 billion in the ensuing budget cycle. The situation is fluid, but Pawlenty has indicated he will cut Local Government Aid payments this month to help balance the budget. Urdahl, R-Grove City, has asked that small towns be spared from cuts.
“Local government units have to do their share as we face a $5.2 billion deficit,” Urdahl said. “Cities and counties expect an LGA reduction in the next biennium, but I have concerns about taking away money the state already has committed to local units of government. Budgets have already been made, levies set, and some of the money already spent. If cuts are going to be made we must do it fairly and leave some options.”