ST. PAUL – Minnesota House lawmakers began eliminating the state’s $993 million budget deficit recently by approving a $300 million spending reduction in nearly all areas of state government.
“There are some cuts to state government, and it’s a small step in the right direction,” said State Representative Paul Torkelson (R-Watonwan County). “But there was a real opportunity to reform government spending in this bill, and that opportunity was ignored.”
Torkelson noted that the health and human services and K-12 education portions of the state budget – areas that represent more than two thirds of state government spending – have not yet been targeted for budget reductions.
“It’s not a broad budget solution,” Torkelson said. “We still have hundreds of millions to eliminate, which means the majority must be planning to make major cuts to health programs, nursing homes, and local schools, because they are the only areas of government left unaddressed.”
Torkelson said this partial budget fix also does not fully address the nearly $6 billion projected budget deficit for the next budget cycle.