As the 2010 legislative session begins to wind down, it is upsetting that democratic leadership has yet to propose a balanced budget. The Minnesota Constitution requires that the state has a balanced budget, but the budget is still not balanced.

The session began with a $1 billion deficit and legislators have yet to complete a task that should have been done months ago. Unfortunately, there is a more significant problem than the current deficit; our state has a projected $5.8 billion deficit for FY 2012-13. This is outrageous!

According to Minnesota Management and Budget's February projections, between FY 2010-11 and FY 2012-13, state spending is projected to increase from $31.1 billion to $38.7 billion, an increase of 24.4 percent. During the same time period, state revenues are projected to increase from $30 billion to $32.9 billion, an increase of 9.6 percent. These staggering numbers show that our state does not have a revenue problem, but rather a significant spending problem.

A $5.8 billion deficit is unprecedented in the State of Minnesota. By some reports, the state could be in a situation of not being able to cover all of its obligations by August and may be forced to borrow money.

When current state senator Sharon Ropes took office in 2006, our state had $1 billion in reserves, with another $1 billon projected surplus, for a total of over $2 billion in surplus. This is a critical time in our state's history, and we need to get our priorities straight. A band-aid isn't going to fix the problem.

As concerned citizens, we need to elect a senator who will bring fiscal responsibility back to Minnesota. Jeremy Miller will be the right person for the job and is committed to making our government smaller and more efficient by reducing excessive government spending and promoting private sector job growth.

Russ Neitzke

La Crescent