ST. PAUL – State Representative Paul Torkelson (R-Watonwan County), along with many other state lawmakers, has been attending recent legislative listening sessions held throughout the state. While he’s happy to see a good turnout at these gatherings, he’s troubled that the average taxpayer is not getting much of a chance to offer ideas.
“I heard from roughly 120 testifiers at the Mankato and Marshall meetings, and maybe eight people did not have a vested interest in state government funding,” Torkelson said. “That’s not to say those folks shouldn’t have that right, because they should. But the overall lack of citizen and business input was disheartening to say the least.”
Despite this, Torkelson said he is pleased to see that citizens are taking an active interest in the state budget setting process. He said as long as residents have something to say, lawmakers are willing to listen.
“I’d like to strongly encourage anyone to send their budget ideas and concerns to me,” Torkelson said. “All lawmakers are in this together, and I am certainly eager to promote any ideas that help us solve this budget crisis.”
Rep. Torkelson can be reached by phone at 651-296-9303. He can also be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com, or via U.S. Mail at 211 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.