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Minnesota Gov.: Be Self-Sufficient

March 2, 1999

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Gov. Jesse Ventura challenged Minnesotans today in his first State of the State speech to take responsibility for their lives, and he urged public officials to inspire voters.

``The State of the State is that the people are very tired of business as usual,″ he said in a speech delivered to a joint session of the Legislature, members of the Supreme Court and statewide elected officials.

``I’m here to provoke people into feeling what is honestly in their hearts and on their minds and taking some action,″ Ventura said. ``Working hard together, we will not fail.″

The one new proposal in the speech was a pledge to increase aid for struggling farmers from the $10 million being spent in the current fiscal year to $60 million over the next three years, effectively doubling the rate of spending.

The 13-page speech by the former pro wrestler, who won election last November as a third-party candidate, included few new proposals, but broadly outlined his guiding principles for the next four years.

He said his three fundamental beliefs are limited government, personal responsibility and an involved populace.

``We can’t legislate against every stupid thing people will do, and yet the temptation is there to try time and time again,″ Ventura said.

The state, he said, is ``jeopardized by this weak notion that taxpayers must step forward to provide nearly unlimited resources to anyone who faces adversity, who lives with circumstances they brought about through their own decision or who lives with consequences of choices to act illegally.″

He called for the demise of cynicism, which he believes Minnesotans are ``desperate″ to end, and said ``the legacy of this administration will be provoking people out of their apathy.″

He also stated a goal of simplifying the property tax system and discussed a plan to ``market Minnesota″ by expanding exports and bringing film productions here.

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