Friday, January 18, 2008


The tone of Friday morning's question and answer session with area lawmakers wasn't all doom and gloom but last November's $373-Million deficit in state government tax income seemed to be lurking in the wings. The Brainerd Lakes Chamber's Eggs and Issues session at the Red Roof Inn in south Brainerd included State Representatives Al Doty, Larry Howes and John Ward and State Senator Paul Koering who fielded questions from area business leaders. Royalton lawmaker Al Doty said it was going to be a year of not "who you can help the most but who can you hurt the least." State Senator Paul Koering predicted that the February state economic forecast would have even more bad news, that he considers himself an optimist "but there comes a time when we have to face facts and the facts are that the economy is really, truly tanking." Koering added that the coming session will be "very ugly" and very divisive. And despite recent suggestions that Democrats would back off on their attempts to remove Transportation Commissioner Carol Molnau, Koering believes the Senate will not confirm her for another term.

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