Letter - Ideas wanted for sessionMinnesota’s latest budget forecast is not good news: $5.2 billion in the red. We’re faced with a $426 million deficit for the current biennium (ending June 30) and a $4.8 billion deficit for the coming 2009-2010 biennium.
To the editor:
Minnesota’s latest budget forecast is not good news: $5.2 billion in the red. We’re faced with a $426 million deficit for the current biennium (ending June 30) and a $4.8 billion deficit for the coming 2009-2010 biennium.
Minnesota citizens are sacrificing to make ends meet in their personal and business budgets. It is only fair that government live within its means as well, instead of continuing on an unsustainable path. State spending has grown more than $10 billion since 2000 (from $24 billion-$34 billion biannual budget) and that’s crushing taxpayers.
Our Rainy Day Fund was significantly tapped to help get us out of the red last spring. Now we must focus on the drive for cost savings, efficiencies and reforms to streamline government and make it more effective. Our government is growing exponentially and it is a growth Minnesotans can’t afford. Big government is bad for taxpayers, business owners and the overall economy.
In an effort to solve the state’s budget deficit, House Republicans supported a respective 5- and 4-percent cut in state agency operating budgets during the 2007 and 2008 legislative sessions. Savings could be realized by contracting with more private prison companies instead of having the state run most of the prisons in the state – at a cost up to $20 to $30 more per day, per prisoner. This is just one common-sense idea that is going to need more serious consideration in balancing the state’s budget.
I’d appreciate hearing any suggestions you have on how the state of Minnesota can save money and streamline programs as we prepare for the upcoming legislative session. You can e-mail your ideas to me at email@example.com.
Elbow Lake, MN