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Your Letters: Better economic forecast no reason to overspend

The new state budget forecast which came out Monday included some good news, but we can't afford to let it distract us from finishing the job were sent to do.

Our updated forecast calls for a budget shortfall of around $5.1 billion in the next biennium, a roughly $1 billion improvement over last November's report. A projected 9 percent spike in state revenue is responsible for the reduced shortfall, but it's nowhere near enough to compensate for the state's commitment to a 29-percent spending increase over the next two years.

The simple truth is our state is spending money faster than taxpayers can afford. Even the historic tax increases Gov. Mark Dayton proposed wouldn't balance the budget on their own. I believe in better for Minnesota and will continue focusing on helping folks get back to work, making our state a better place to do business and bringing fiscal restraint to government.

The House will finish putting its budget targets together now that we have this new budget information. You will see huge differences between our plan and the governor's original proposal to tax us $4 billion more in order to increase spending by 22 percent. Our plan will be one that lives within our means, sets clear priorities and does not raise taxes.

If you remember only one thing during budget talks, it's that we will have almost $3 billion more in state revenue available the next two years. We can't let state leaders get away with turning their pockets inside out and telling taxpayers we need to pay more. It's not a revenue shortage that's put us $5.1 billion in the hole, it's irresponsible spending.

A budget of $33.5 billion ought to be enough to make ends meet, so let's get to work and make it happen.

Rep. Mark Murdock