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Minnesotans react to Pawlenty budget

Wadena Mayor Wayne Wolden talked in St. Paul about the impact of budget cuts on cities.

Comments about Gov. Tim Pawlenty's proposed two-year budget:

"It funds budget priorities in order of importance. ... We believe the Legislature will have slightly different priorities."

-- Gov. Tim Pawlenty

"Cuts at this level will mean significant reductions in service and even further delays in processing civil and criminal cases. We have said repeatedly that adequate funding of the justice system is not an option, but an obligation of state government."

-- Chief Justice Eric Magnuson

"To pull this amount of money out of our city budget will be very painful, and every citizen will be paying the price - whether it's through higher property taxes or a decrease in city services. This is one area of the governor's budget I'll need to hear much more about."

-- Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji

"We are open to take a look at everything the governor has put forward and the people of this state will help us decide what is a good idea and what isn't. These are troubled times for our state and it is vitally important that we don't just jump the gun and start making decisions that will affect the public without any counsel from them."

-- Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis

"We support balancing the budget without additional tax increases in our already high-tax state. Minnesota ranks high on virtually any analysis regarding taxes."

-- Mike Hickey, Minnesota state director for the National Federation of Independent Business

"We can scarcely afford to be penny wise and pound foolish about how we balance the budget. Keep in mind that for every dollar of funding we cut from the state HHS (health and human services) budget, we will lose an additional dollar in federal funding, which doubles the loss, doubles the impact and doubles the pain for those who depend on HHS services and supports."

-- Disabilities funding advocate Pat Mellenthin

"It is not wise to add to the burden of Minnesota taxpayers."

-- Gov. Tim Pawlenty

"We know this is a time of shared sacrifice for Minnesotans, but we also think it is important to keep our eyes on the long-term solutions. ... We're very concerned about some care centers in Minnesota." "

-- Gayle Kvenvold, Minnesota Health and Housing Alliance

"What the governor has laid out is an opportunity for reform."

-- Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing

"The governor's proposal would devastate our communities. Here is what it means for families: the loss of thousands of jobs, huge increases in property taxes, and cuts in core services to our communities, such as police and fire protection, libraries, parks, snow plowing and pothole repair."

-- Wadena Mayor Wayne Wolden, president of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities

"It is not preordained that every time a governmental entity gets cut in payments ... their only response is raising taxes."

-- Gov. Tim Pawlenty

"Cities are out of options. The governor's latest round of cuts will have a direct effect in our ability to provide public safety, libraries, and parks."

-- St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman

"Older Minnesotans have been among the hardest hit by the economic crisis, and we need to ensure that we maintain important health and long-term care safety nets at this crucial time. This crisis requires that we all work together - at the state and federal level - to ensure that our most vulnerable can be assured of basic needs."

-- AARP Minnesota Director Michele Kimball

"Thank you, governor, for giving us a solution."

--House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, R-Marshall

"What are the details of this proposal? We have very limited details."

--House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.