Two Minnesota mayors are asking Gov. Tim Pawlenty to call a special legislative session to deal with the projected state budget deficit.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Wadena Mayor Wayne Wolden, representing the Coalition for Greater Minnesota Cities, issued this statement:
“Today we are calling for an immediate special legislative session to address the $1.2 billion dollar budget deficit.
“Minnesota cities are so close to the financial edge that any reduction in the December funding will spell disaster in the form of closed libraries, deeper cuts to police and fire protection and a sharp reduction in critical services, like winter snowplowing.
“This is one of the most challenging times Minnesota has ever faced, with high unemployment and virtually no economic growth. Another hit to cities will cripple our communities and the effects will only worsen the state’s economy.
“A special session is the only reasonable, rational and responsible option. There has never been a greater time for state leaders to drop political slogans and petty disagreements and come together to address the long-term financial needs of our state.”
Coleman and Wolden have been vocal in the past about the impact on local governments of the governor’s previous cuts. There is concern that the governor will respond to the negative forecast by cutting more funding from the Local Government Aid checks scheduled to be sent out this month.