ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) – The top republican in the Minnesota Senate, Paul Gazelka, is offering budget strategies to Governor Tim Walz in light of what Gazelka calls a COVID-19 statewide shutdown that lasted far too long.

“As a result of that we’re going to have a big budget shortfall,” said Gazelka. “I’ve been telling the governor they should be cutting each agency 5 percent right now. He can do that. But they have not heeded that advice.”

Gazelka says taking action now will be beneficial to the state budget down the line when we know more specifics on the complete fallout from the crisis.

“In January if we have a $6 billion dollar shortfall it’s going to be much tougher to figure out for the governor to figure out how to balance that budget, so he should be doing it now,” said Gazelka.

Gazelka said the virus did not play out as severely as the Walz administration modeled it would.