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After sneak peek at budget, commission recoils in fear

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It has been said that nothing can make or break a presentation like a good graphic. The chart that state House and Senate analysts recently showed members of the Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy certainly made an impression.

It was “a frightening, frightening chart,” House Speaker Margaret Kelliher said after she was briefed on a projected deficit of up to $4 billion in the upcoming state budget cycle. The analysts noted that their calculations were not comprehensive.

In his weekly radio address, Gov. Tim Pawlenty noted that state governments throughout the nation were in similar straits.

“You can’t expect state government to continue to have spending that is 6%, 9%, 10% a year. It just doesn’t work, that math doesn’t work,” Pawlenty said. “We’re going to go through a debate in this state and every other state across the country, and the federal government as well, about government living within its means just like everybody else.”

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