Drop Dead, Minnesota: Pawlenty nixes education, health & public safety today
Since the Legislature and Governor Tim Pawlenty failed to reach a deal for the next two fiscal years (fiscal 2010 starts July 1st, 2009), as it turns out, the governor has the arbitrary power to cancel whatever planned spending his mulleted head desires, within some rules. This is called unallotment, and it's about to happen, ten times bigger than has ever happened in the state's history. This happens Tuesday at 2 PM, an attempt to pack the bad news into one day, as TC-IMC noted earlier. [It will be live on TheUptake.]
Unfortunately, his moves will be designed to please national Republican primary voters, a sadistic bunch that want to see lesser classes and identities crushed for grim reasons of the authoritarian psyche. On the block are Minnesota's local governments, higher education and health care - the very things which, over decades, made Minnesota a relevant and formerly prosperous state (due to its socially progressive history).
All this civic investment goes up in smoke as billions of dollars are going to get slashed Tuesday; Minneapolis and St. Paul stand to lose, in particular, because as economic centers, they generate much of the state's jobs and culture -- in the GOP view, this is all from the "subsidy" of Local Government Aid and County Program Aid.
Local governments will also get payments slashed, and property taxes will get hiked (within certain levy limits). This plan benefits rich suburbanites, who may not have to suffer much in property tax hikes, at the expense of the long-term economy, which gets hollowed out from the center. It's the people who need county services, mental health help (as well, as, say, firefighters) who will lose out. As always it'll be a short-term pandering to the upper class, followed by further economic disaster. The challenge for activists is to step in and help the people that are getting screwed.
More links to unallotment news & research below - please add more!