Surprise resolution to 2009 Legislative Session leaves long-term deficits
The 2009 Legislative Session ended in May with the job only partially done. Legislators and Governor Pawlenty spent the session attempting to negotiate a solution to a $4.6 billion state budget deficit for the FY 2010-11 biennium. As the legislature reached the constitutionally prescribed adjournment date on May 18, a $2.7 billion deficit still remained. After the session concluded with no negotiated agreement, the Governor exerted his authority to unilaterally “unallot” spending to resolve the remaining deficit and bring the budget into balance.
In the end, the FY 2010-11 budget deficit was resolved using a combination of spending reductions and one-time budget-balancing measures. The decision to rely heavily on one-time measures to fix the current deficit will have long-term implications as Minnesota is facing persistent budget deficits.
This analysis begins with a brief overview of the major elements of the solution to the FY 2010-11 budget deficit, then goes into greater detail to explain the budget proposals from the Governor, House, and Senate, and the final decisions that were reached.