Start budget-trimming now and don’t wait until next January, say top Republican lawmakers to Democratic Governor Tim Walz as the state faces an estimated 4.7-billion-dollar budget deficit.   Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says the Walz administration should be able to trim spending at least five percent across-the-board:

“We believe it’s not that difficult to find that five percent. We did it in 2011 and perhaps it can be even more.”

The governor is not immediately available to respond.