Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Paul Torkelson (R)

Back to profile


Friday, March 1, 2024

ST. PAUL – Minnesota’s economic experts unveiled a new state budget economic forecast on February 29, with a looming $1.5 billion shortfall through 2027 overshadowing a $3.715 billion surplus for what’s left of the current budget cycle.


State Representative Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska) noted that the Democrat legislative majority is having trouble using the word ‘deficit’ for the budget mess it has created. Instead, it is trying to avoid criticism by rebranding the term as a ‘structural imbalance.’


“The next time my wife overdraws her checking account, I’m sure she’ll be happy to tell me we’re not short funds, but that it’s just a structural imbalance,” Torkelson said. “The Democrats’ insatiable appetite to waste taxpayer dollars has created this future problem and giving that problem a new name will do nothing to eliminate it.”


Torkelson reminded residents what a difference a year can make. At this time last session, Minnesota had a nearly $20 billion budget surplus. Three months later, the Democrat majority spent every bit of that amount, raised taxes by an additional $10 billion, and ultimately crafted a budget that increased state spending by 40%.


“If the Democrats decide to spend even more this session, that projected deficit amount will continue to grow,” Torkelson said. “We should be focused on ways to scale back wasteful spending and exercise restraint this year.”


Torkelson said irresponsible state spending was just one of the topics being discussed at the precinct caucuses he attended this year. Torkelson said he’s always encouraged to see residents who are taking an active role in the political process.


“If all politics is local, then all politics must start locally with those who want to participate in the process and improve our state,” Torkelson said. “My thanks to all who braved the bitter temperatures and participated in their precinct caucus this year.”