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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Paul Torkelson (R)

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REP. TORKELSON RESPONDS TO GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PLAN

Tuesday, January 27, 2009
ST. PAUL - Governor Tim Pawlenty recently unveiled his budget plan to fund state government for the next two years, a proposal that will cost $33.61 billion, which is 2.2% less than the $34.36 billion currently being spent from the Fiscal Year 2008-09 general fund. State Representative Paul Torkelson (R-St. James) said the job is particularly difficult this year as Minnesota faces a $4.8 billion budget deficit. “I’m pleased the Governor and his team of experts have decided on a plan for balancing the state’s budget without raising taxes,” Torkelson said. To erase the $4.8 budget shortfall, the Governor proposed $2.5 billion worth of spending reductions, while utilizing spending shifts and expected federal stimulus funding to make up the difference. Torkelson said he agreed with much of the Governor’s plan, but said some of his other proposals may need further debate. “Its good news that he wants to increase funding for our schools and protect our nursing homes,” Torkelson said. “But it’s also important to note that his plan is just that – a plan. The legislature will now take his recommendations, analyze them, and move forward.”