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House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and other legislative Democrats took advantage of a Thursday meeting called by the Pawlenty administration to criticize the governor's plan to make unilateral budget cuts. She said Gov. Tim Pawlenty will leave office with a "permanent deficit." Staff photo by Don Davis - Minn. State Capitol Bureau

Democrats call unallotment illegal

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ST. PAUL - Democrats claim Gov. Tim Pawlenty's plan to cut $2.7 billion from the state budget is illegal.

Democratic legislative leaders Thursday told the Republican governor's commissioners that Pawlenty is overstepping his legal authority in balancing the budget by himself.

"There is some shaky legal ground to do some of the changes you are doing," House Majority Leader Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm, said to Pawlenty's representatives.

He called it abuse of state law.

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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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