Listening forum was helpful to lawmakers

Published 8:44 am Friday, February 27, 2009

I would like to thank state Rep. Robin Brown and everyone who participated in the bipartisan town hall meeting in Albert Lea last Friday.

All of the residents who listened to the budget presentation and those who shared their input were helpful in putting faces and names to the lives that will be affected by our historic budget deficit. It was also clear from the overflow crowd and participation that many Minnesotans wish to preserve the rich tradition of excellent schools, healthy living and a strong job market in these trying times.

Throughout the budget process, we must stay committed to fairness and honesty with Minnesotans about the tough choices ahead. The next step comes on March 3 with the release of the next economic forecast. Unfortunately, it is anticipated we will learn that our deficit has grown significantly. With a deficit of this size, it is evident we can neither cut nor tax our way to a balanced budget. We face a series of choices — none of them easy — and should consider the merits of every option small and large to close this deficit.

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Please continue to share your ideas with Rep. Brown, or log on to to provide additional input. Again, thank you all who have taken an active role in your community and state in providing us with your ideas and comments about our state budget and the difficult task ahead.

Gene Pelowski

state representative


State and Local Government Reform Operations Reform, Technology and Elections Committee