Letter: Hamilton supports Phase 1 budget billIn an effort to remove $1 billion from Minnesota’s projected $6.2 billion budget deficit, I have voted to approve a Phase 1 budget bill.
By: Dist. 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, Worthington Daily Globe
In an effort to remove $1 billion from Minnesota’s projected $6.2 billion budget deficit, I have voted to approve a Phase 1 budget bill. These votes are unbelievably difficult to take, but I cannot stress enough right now that the economic future for Minnesota’s government looks bleak, and we have to make tough choices in order to eliminate the state government’s financial crisis.
The Phase 1 budget bill adopts many of last year’s budget cuts, including reductions to MnSCU and the University of Minnesota and health and human services programs. The bill also will keep Local Government Aid at its 2010 amounts. I supported this bill last year and the state was able to manage these reductions in the year 2010.
The measure also includes a two—year salary freeze for state employees. No one likes to cut funding to programs or deny people raises, but at the end of the day we have to vote yes or no on the bills that come before us. This deficit is a serious matter, and there’s no easy way to address this. President Obama and many other states have also proposed similar freezes.