State Sen. Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake). (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

With the state budget going from a $1.5 billion surplus to a $2.4 billion defiicit in just two months, Republican State Senator Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake told the KMRS Legislator’s Corner this weekend that Minnesotans should prepare for a near-term future of cost cutting measures.

“You know, the governor came out saying nothing’s off the table. And with that kind of number, that kind of swing, I think that’s prudent,” said Westrom. “There’s gonna be a lot of tough decisions, a lot of belt tightening. The Senate has implemented a wage freeze across the board. State government has issued a hiring freeze. The governor a week or two ago, for salaried employees over $100,000, took a 10 percent reduction. And the Senate, we’ve implemented a hiring freeze.”

He said the nearly $4 billion budget swing elicited an “Uff-Da” response. Westrom said his colleagues are bracing for perhaps multiple special sessions over the summer to deal with the budget and the pandemic. KMRS Legislator’s Corner interviews can be found in their entirety on our website, kmrskkok.com, under the News tab in the Community Connection section.

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