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Minnesota Legislature

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

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011
ST. PAUL - State Representative Paul Torkelson (R-Nelson Township) said Governor Mark Dayton stuck to his campaign promise of raising taxes, but he did not imagine the extent Dayton wanted to raid Minnesotan’s wallets – and expand state government spending – during his recent budget proposal announcement. “The governor’s budget idea represents unprecedented government growth at a time when citizens cannot afford it,” Torkelson said. Minnesota currently faces a projected budget deficit of $6.2 billion. In an effort to eliminate this amount, Governor Dayton proposed raising taxes by more than $4 billion, while requesting only $485 million in net reductions from state government spending. “This is totally unaffordable and unreasonable,” Torkelson said. “This would make us the highest taxed state in the country, and would completely ignore the fact that state government spending is out of control,” Torkelson also noted that Dayton’s budget would cost taxpayers $37 billion over the next two years, which is $5 billion more than our current budget. “I can’t imagine this is a serious proposal towards solving our budget problems,” Torkelson added. “This has to be an attempt by the governor to stake out a future negotiating spot, because it certainly is not a legitimate solution.”