With Wednesday’s new state budget forecast likely to bring even worse news, city officials around the state are worried about more cuts to local government aid (LGA) payments.
The impact could come even before the Legislature convenes in February. Some worry that the LGA payments due in December could be cut, says the Grand Forks Herald.
Local governments are scheduled to receive $412 million in December aid checks, one of two installments each year. A year ago, Gov. Tim Pawlenty chopped those checks to help fill a deficit the state then faced. While he seems reluctant to do the same thing this December, it all depends on what Wednesday’s budget report says.
There’s widespread concern that the budget forecast will predict lower revenues; some fear it could be as much as $1 billion less than was expected when Gov. Tim Pawlenty made major cuts last spring through unallotment.
“Repeated cuts to LGA have pushed our communities to the edge, and our ability to provide public safety, libraries, parks and other essential services at an affordable price to property taxpayers is suffering,” said Timothy Strand, St. Peter mayor and president of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities. “On behalf of our residents, we are telling legislators and the governor that enough is enough.”