Checkup coming on Minn. county budgets

Published 2:40 am Monday, April 27, 2009

A look at the financial health of Minnesota counties is coming Monday.

The 2007 Report on Minnesota County Finances will be released by State Auditor Rebecca Otto.

Otto tracks more than $20 billion in annual spending by local governments.

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Her latest report covers a period before the recession, but the data could still help policymakers as they consider cutting state aid to counties to help close a $4.6 billion deficit.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty cut $110 million worth of payments to cities and counties late last year to erase a short-term deficit, and has urged local governments to freeze wages, tap reserves and slim bureaucracy to cope with the cuts while protecting public safety.