Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Supreme Court Rules Against Governor in Unallotment Lawsuit
(Statement published today by the League of Minnesota Cities)
In a divided decision, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled against the Governor today in the Brayton et al. v. Tim Pawlenty et al unallotment lawsuit. The Court found that the Governor exceeded his budget unallotment authority last summer when he made cuts to the Minnesota Supplemental Aid – Special Diet program. A majority of the Court concluded that the manner in which the Governor exercised the unallotment authority was not permitted by the statute.

While the decision only directly affects the cuts to dietary aid program, it certainly leaves in political and legal limbo the validity of the remainder of last summer’s unallotment decision – including the $192 million of local government aid and market value homestead cuts effectuated last July and this January. The League of Minnesota Cities participated in the case by filing a joint amicus curiae brief with the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, Metro Cities and the Minnesota Association of Small Cities; however, the League Board of Directors had previously declined to initiate direct legal challenging the local government aid and market valued homestead credit cuts. In light of today's Supreme Court decision, there will be further discussions with the Board about the ruling and its implications for cities.

A copy of the decision can be viewed at the attached link.