Minnesota's Supreme Court today ruled that Governor Pawlenty acted beyond his authority when he un-allotted spending items from the DFL submitted un-balanced budget.
Under Minnesota's Constitution, the Minnesota legislature is required to present a balanced budget to the governor for signature within a specific time frame. Margaret-Anderson-Kelliher's DFL-led Minnesota legislature failed miserably in their Constitutional duty, banking on a mistaken notion that the lack of a balanced budget would force Governor Pawlenty to call a special session, one that would have the very real possibility of lasting ad-infinitum while the DFL had their way with the budget and squandered untold taxpayer dollars in the process.
Governor Pawlenty, on the other hand, being the statesman that he is, was not about to entertain DFL-foolishness. Instead, he made good on his promise that if Margaret Anderson-Keliher's DFL-led legislature would not meet their Constitutional obligations within the Constitutionally-mandated timeline, he would have to play the parent by utilizing his un-allotment authority to balance the budget.
This was a strong message to the Margaret-Anderson Keliher DFL-led legislature that the days of shirking their responsibility in the interest of political gamesmanship were over, and served as a common-sense protection of and stewardship of hard-earned taxpayer dollars.
Then enter the Minnesota State Supreme Court, whose decision today will bring our state that much closer to insolvency.
In a press release, Minnesota GOP-endorsed gubernatorial hopeful, Tom Emmer, had this to say about today's decision:
The court changed the law in midstream by adding a time constraint to when the governor could exercise his unallotment powers. Once the court changed the law, they found that the Commissioner of Finance did not follow the “new” law.
So, in effect, a judicially-imposed 'ex post facto' law, or bill of attainder.
Today's decision was a loss, not only for Governor Pawlenty, but for the integrity of Minnesota's budget and for the rights of Minnesotans to be served by their elected officials within the parameters of their Constitution:
The legislature shall meet at the seat of government in regular session in each biennium at the times prescribed by law for not exceeding a total of 120 legislative days. The legislature shall not meet in regular session, nor in any adjournment thereof, after the first Monday following the third Saturday in May of any year.
The Minnesota Supreme Court, today, in effect, gave Margaret-Anderson-Keliher's DFL-controlled legislature a green light to ignore their Constitutional obligations.