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Gov. Pawlenty: Public employees are ‘over-benefited and overpaid’

Speaking in southeastern Minnesota Thursday, Gov.

Speaking in southeastern Minnesota Thursday, Gov. Tim Pawlenty said that public employee benefits, salaries and entitlements need to be brought under control to resolve the state budget crisis.

He spoke to the Plainview Chamber of Commerce during a swing through southeastern Minnesota, said the Rochester Post-Bulletin.

The paper reports that the governor said: “It used to be that public employees were underpaid and over-benefited. Now they are over-benefited and overpaid compared to their private-sector counterparts.”

And he said he wants teachers’ pay tied to student performance:

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“I don’t know about you, but do you get paid for how many years you’ve been on the dairy farm, or what you produce?”

The governor also said the state has to control of spending for special services, welfare and subsidized health care. He said the rapid growth of those items is “consuming almost all of the financial oxygen in the country.”