Minneapolis will receive LGA on time

The judge charged with preparing for a government shutdown decided that Minneapolis will receive $44 million in local government aid.

John Hageman

Minnesota cities will receive local government aid, after all.

Two days after Minneapolis approved legal action to obtain the funding, Chief Ramsey County District Court Judge Kathleen Gearin ordered Wednesday that appropriations like LGA will be dispersed in the event of a state government shutdown.

A partial shutdown will begin if state lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton cannot finalize a budget by midnight on Thursday.

Local government aid helps pay for basic services like police and firefighters along with property taxes. LGA, which cities receive twice a year from the state, is used to help keep those taxes down.

The city is scheduled to receive half of this yearâÄôs payment, or $44 million, in late-July.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said Wednesday he agrees with the judgeâÄôs decision, but the debate should now turn to whether the budget thatâÄôs eventually passed contains the severe cuts to LGA originally proposed.

In recent months, Rybak and other Minnesotan mayors have been vocal in their opposition to the legislatureâÄôs proposed cuts to LGA across Minnesota by 26 percent.

âÄúIâÄôll keep making my case,âÄù Rybak said.

LGA and other small state aid accounts for 22 percent of the cityâÄôs general fund this year.

Neither Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson nor Gov. Mark Dayton included LGA payments in their lists of services that should continue in the event of a shutdown.

The League of Minnesota Cities previously argued that standing appropriations, because they are written in state statute, should be paid on time.