Westrom: Governor's address lays strong foundationState Representative Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake, issued the following news release today, Friday, regarding Governor Tim Pawlenty's State of the State Address.
State Representative Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake, issued the following news release today, Friday, regarding Governor Tim Pawlenty's State of the State Address:
"Gov. Tim Pawlenty's State of the State Address on Thursday provided plans to not only resolve our current budget deficit, but to lay a strong foundation for Minnesota's future.
"The speech came at a time when we face a $4.8 billion deficit for the upcoming budget cycle. Pawlenty used the opportunity to lay out ways of creating new jobs and providing tax incentives for small businesses. The governor pleaded with the Legislature to abstain from digging deeper
into the wallets of taxpayers who already are struggling to make ends meet.
"Pawlenty's proposals also remain firm in a commitment to essential services like public safety (including the military) and childrens' health care. Pawlenty also discussed increasing K-12 education funding while raising the performance bar for both students and teachers.
"Keep in mind these are just proposals and the details will be examined as the current legislative session unfolds. Resolving our deficit will be an ongoing process and the House has launched a Web site - http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/budgetsuggestions.asp - where you can share your thoughts regarding the budget.
"This is a great opportunity to have your voice heard. There truly is nothing above consideration; we are facing a significant challenge. Prioritizing, reducing, resizing, combining, eliminating, spending freezes, they're all on the table.
"I encourage you to be thoughtful and innovative with your contributions. Beyond ways to save money, it would be helpful to hear your ideas on how to reduce regulations that cost you or your local government time and money because of un-needed regulations and paperwork. Also, ideas as to how the state can generate more revenue without simply resorting to increasing taxes or fees.
"For example, should we consider privatizing some state-run entities like prisons, airports and the Lottery? And, what about the business climate in Greater Minnesota? What do you think we should do to create more jobs to increase the base of taxpayers?
"I hope this Web site proves to be a positive tool in our quest to get back on strong economic footing. You deserve to have a voice in this process and I encourage you to use it. Feel free to also email me your ideas as well."
Rep. Westrom can be reached at the Capitol by calling 651-296-4929 or 800-711-2620, and by email at email@example.com. His office is located at 273 State Office Build-ing, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.