Minnesota lawmakers on Monday approved a budget compromise with Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a political victory for the possible presidential candidate.
The deal, which eliminates a $3 billion deficit, gives Mr. Pawlenty or his eventual successor the power to decide whether to shift thousands of low-income Minnesotans from a state health-care plan to Medicaid ahead of a federal timetable.
In an effort to cover more uninsured, lawmakers from the state’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor party, which control the legislature, wanted to make the health-care shift automatic by inserting it in the budget bill.
In return for that plan being dropped, Mr. Pawlenty, a Republican, withdrew his proposal for another $114 million in health-care and social-service cuts.
The budget deal is an achievement for Mr. Pawlenty, a potential presidential candidate in 2012, in two ways: It doesn’t raise taxes, and it ratifies most of the budget cuts he made single-handedly last year.