Late on Thursday night, Governor Pawlenty signed the health and human services omnibus bill, but not before using his line item veto power to eliminate $381 million in funding for General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) in FY 2011. This program serves very low-income adults without children. The Governor’s line item veto eliminates public health care coverage for tens of thousands of Minnesotans starting in the second year of the biennium (we’ll learn more about the impact in the coming days). In a letter to legislators, the Governor promises additional cuts to health and human services if he uses unallotment to balance the state’s budget (see our blog on the unallotment issue).
The Governor waits until the second year of the biennium to implement the cut, telling the legislature that it “will have an opportunity to address this change further if it chooses.”