After hearing our state’s budget shortfall is predicted to reach
nearly $1 billion, I was curious to find out what I had to say a couple
years ago, back when we were looking at a $2.17 billion surplus.
Here’s a quote of mine from a Nov. 29, 2006 press release. It was
under the headline: BUDGET SURPLUS RESULT OF GOOD FISCAL MANAGEMENT
“We’re finally experiencing the results of our fiscal
responsibility. The surplus was created from spending cuts and from no
tax increases. This is a sign the state’s economy is moving
Now, a couple years and a few billion dollars in the opposite
direction, a return to that common-sense model is in order to get us
back on firm financial ground.
The current $935 million shortfall projection is more than half a
billion greater than last November’s figure. It represents 2.7 percent
of our state’s total general fund spending. Our state economist
strongly cautioned against breaking the 3-percent threshold as may be
very harmful to the state's fiscal credibility.
The source of the problem is the way the House majority overspent,
overtaxed and overregulated last session, and kicked of this session
with the largest tax increase in modern Minnesota history.
Please realize this deficit is projected, meaning we’re not a billion
dollars in the red right now. Rather, the predicted shortfall says this:
At our current pace we are outspending the estimated revenue we’ll
generate by nearly a billion dollars.
Last November’s projection of a $373 deficit should have been a
warning signal to the Legislature that a return to fiscal responsibility
was needed. Some legislators apparently didn’t get the memo and
excessive taxing and spending last session and again this year means our
deficit is predicted to rise by $562 million.
It’s important to understand we still are in a situation where this
shortfall can be managed, but we must make necessary adjustments to make
sure we balance the budget. A good start would be if certain legislators
kicking their tax-and-spend habits instead of ignoring reality.
Rep. Bud Nornes
State Representative 10A
277 State Office Building
100 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155
Fax: 651- 296-4307
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Friday, February 29, 2008