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Letter: Hamilton: Pawlenty shares my priorities

Rep. Rod Hamilton R-Mountain Lake

I'm encouraged by Gov. Tim Pawlenty's recent budget proposal, and especially pleased with his priorities.

My priorities have always been our children, our elderly, and our disabled. And after learning more about Gov. Pawlenty's budget plan, I'm happy to report he feels the same way.

Approving a budget will be challenging this session, as Minnesota faces a projected $4.8 billion deficit. But under the governor's proposal, health care services for the handicapped, our senior citizens and our kids would be protected.

In addition, K-12 schools would actually receive a funding increase under Pawlenty's plan. Small businesses are also emphasized, as tax incentives would be provided to these employers. This would allow Minnesota to grow jobs and grow our way out of this budget shortfall.

In addition, Gov. Pawlenty advises against tax increases in this horrible economy.

As more details of the governor's plan become available, it's important that residents let me know how his proposals will positively or negatively impact them. I also need to understand how the proposed cuts to local government aid will affect my local communities and property taxpayers as this process moves forward.

Now that the governor has given us his proposal, we have a starting point. Now I'm eager to for the House and Senate DFL majorities to release their proposals so we can begin working out a compromise budget that is in the best interests of our state.

Many tough decisions will be made this session and everyone will feel some pain, so I encourage folks to stay engaged in the budget debate and contact me with their priorities and concerns.

I can be reached by phone at 1-800-735-2463, via e-mail at, or via U.S. Mail at 209 State Office Building, St. Paul 55155.