Lawmakers collecting ideas to reduce budget shortfallby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesotans have offered hundreds of ideas to lawmakers on a Web site the House set up to help solve the state's budget deficit.
DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher says the ideas range from cutting energy costs for state buildings and vehicles to unpaid leave for employees.
Kelliher said many of the suggestions had a common message.
"Our challenge is to look at solving this budget as more than just a math problem," said Kelliher. "People want us to take a thoughtful approach, to do priority-based budgeting, to make sure that we are really looking at innovation. That's another big theme that comes through. Please innovate. Deliver services better. Do those sorts of things."
Kelliher said some of those ideas may well become law.
When lawmakers return to the Capitol next week, they'll face a projected deficit of $4.8 billion for the next two-year budget, and that figure may rise if the economy worsens.