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Your Letters: House budget targets released

The House recently unveiled budget targets which show how we can erase our $5 billion budget shortfall and set spending for the next two years without raising taxes.

Our approach is a refreshing change from the tax-and-spend budgets we've seen in the past. We propose a modest spending increase to fund our priorities while living within available revenue. A main focus is on improving service through reform and incentives to help control costs and fit today's economic realities. This gives Minnesotans what they want: more efficient service, less waste, reduced bureaucracy and smaller government.

Here are some of our budget particulars:

1. Cuts $3.6 billion in future spending

2. Reduces state agency funding by 15 percent

3. Requires 15 percent reduction in state government by 2015

4. Freezes public employee salaries for two years

We still have a long way to go before our job is done, but turning around years and years of bad spending habits takes time. But we are on track and are using innovation to improve the way government does business to rebuild public trust and pave the way for a strong economic future in Minnesota. It's good we finally are bringing kitchen-table economics to the state by determining what money is available and then putting together a budget that fits.

Please keep in mind these budget targets are simply that: targets. Our committees are actively working to hash out the details, including other areas of reform which could do even more to reduce costs and make better use of our tax dollars. This is not an easy process and some huge decisions remain this session. Your input is always welcome and the best way to reach me is by e-mailing

Rep. Mark Murdock