Gov. Tim Pawlenty unveiled his revised budget recommendations this afternoon. Thanks to a $2.6 billion infusion of federal stimulus dollars, K-12 education would get an extra $28 million funding boost on top of the governor's previously proposed increases over the next two-year budget cycle. Colleges and universities would also be spared from 8.2 percent in cuts.
Pawlenty's budget would restore $10 million out of $25 million of proposed cuts for the court system. The governor is also proposing that the state take back responsibility for housing short-term offenders, easing the burden on counties.
But there are plenty of cuts in the future. Beginning January 2011, the governor would move ahead with his proposed health care cuts. Democrats say that would mean 113,000 people would lose state health insurance. Over the next four-year budget cycle, Democrats charge the governor's budget would amount to a 35 percent cut in health care — including a substantial cuts to state hospital payments.
In addition, higher education would take an 11 percent funding hit in those later years. State aid to cities and counties would be frozen in the 2012-2013 budget at the level of cuts the governor is proposing over the next two years. Democrats say that amounts to a 23 percent cut in aid over the four-year budget.