Mr. Kalin, citing "nonpartisan House Research of the Minnesota Legislature" brought forth these stunning and pertinent facts: (Quote) " . . . . if the Minnesota legislature:
- Cut all children's health care ($139 million) and
- Shut down 20 percent of nursing homes in the state ($191 million) and
- Released all the prisoners ($950 million) and
- Let all the sex offenders go ($127 million) and
- Close(d) all the state parks ($52 million) and
- Eliminate(d) Meals on Wheels for seniors ($7.1 million) and
- Shut down 10 state college campuses ($146 million) and
- Shut down the Departments of Health, Public Safety, Transportation and the rest of state government ($3.45 billion) that would add up to $5 billion"
Mr. Kalin then continued by saying: "But all those devastating cuts still wouldn't be enough to balance the budget because the deficit is growing every day."
Mr. Kalin, you might also consider, in your brilliant analysis, the savings that could be effected if government did away with all the police departments, fire departments and the schools too. After all we don't need any of them until emergencies arise or fires get started or children need to get an education!
And, while you are at it, you might also include in your further research an investigation into how much could be saved for the taxpayers if bloated full-time salaries and massive perdiems for part-time legislators would be eliminated. The citizen legislature concept is that legislators ought to have gainful outside employment and not be full-time bureaucrats as many of you are and have become.
In summary, since all the budget eliminations outlined by you in your Capitol Commentary still do not balance the budget as required by the state constitution might we not suggest that you and Senator Olseen start to get the picture that state government is way too big and you ought to be reducing it instead of increasing it. If you cannot understand that concept and act on it, clearly you are not representing the people and are only serving yourself.