ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A Minnesota judge is weighing whether to temporarily reverse budget cuts made by Gov. Tim Pawlenty at the request of those who say he exceeded his authority.
Ramsey County District Judge Kathleen Gearin heard arguments Monday in a lawsuit that attempts to restore money to a food program for the poor.
The $5.3 million cut from the program is not huge in the context of a $30 billion budget. But the case could lead to other challenges to Pawlenty's approach to balancing the state budget unilaterally.
Pawlenty lawyer Patrick Robben says the GOP governor met the threshold for using his so-called unallotment powers. An attorney for people affected by the cuts says Pawlenty used the power to improperly work around the Legislature.
Meanwhile, a House committee voted to file a brief supporting the lawsuit on grounds Pawlenty violated constitutional separation of powers.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)