To the Editor:
Thank you to all residents of Coon Rapids who attended last weeks town hall meeting at Crooked Lake Library. Your input is critical as we work to represent our community at the State Capitol. It is particularly important to understand your priorities now as Minnesota faces economic recession and a record $6.4 billion budget deficit.
The 2009 Legislative Session is more than half complete. In recent weeks Governor Pawlenty, the Minnesota Senate, and the Minnesota House released proposals to resolve the states budget shortfall. The House plan offers a responsible road to economic recovery based on the priorities of Minnesota citizens.
Specifically, the House budget would do the following:
Protect Minnesota students by ensuring zero cuts for early education, K-12, and higher education
Utilize $1.8 billion in federal recovery funds to secure critical government services
Make $1.6 billion in carefully targeted budget cuts by:
oCutting health care spending 5%
oCutting state government spending 7.5% - the largest cut to any area of the budget
oCutting 3.5% to 7.5% in all other areas of the budget
Delay $1.6 billion in payments to K-12 schools
Raise $1.5 billion in new revenue
In the weeks ahead we will be working with members of both parties in the House and Senate, as well as Governor Pawlenty, to find a responsible, long-term solution to the states budget deficit. With fiscal discipline and an eye toward the future, we can rebuild Minnesota and restore economic opportunity in our state.
Thank you again for your continued input. We strongly encourage you to contact us throughout the coming weeks with your questions and concerns. Together, we can make Coon Rapids an even better place to live.