Stay involved

Published 10:26 am Monday, November 8, 2010

Minnesota is expected to face a $6 billion budget deficit, something that the incoming Legislature and governor will have to address quickly once they convene in January. Finding a way to make up a $6 billion deficit is almost certainly going to mean some pain at the local level and, while most of us will have little influence over what the Legislature does, there is plenty of room – and need – for involvement in the resulting local decisions.

The new Legislature is, for the first time in decades, controlled exclusively by a lawmakers who have an anti-tax-increase agenda. That, in turn, almost certainly means belt-tightening at the state level and reductions in financial aid that the state provides to cities. That’s almost certainly going to be the case regardless of who becomes governor. Austin and surrounding communities will then face tough choices about whether to raise taxes, cut services or both. Anyone who has an opinion about how that challenge should be met ought to be paying attention to the news during 2011 and prepared to weigh in with ideas and opinions.

Our community, and others throughout the state, is going to find itself in the midst of changing times during the next year or two. It’s always better to be part of change than to simply sit on the sidelines, and we urge Austin and Mower County residents to stay educated about the issues of taxes and spending.

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