Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tim Penny asked Gov. Jesse Ventura on Monday to order an updated budget forecast to determine the size of a state deficit before the November election.
But Gov. Ventura says he won't order state finance officials to release a new revenue forecast next month.
Ventura, who's backing Penny for governor, says a quarterly economic update released in October should give the candidates enough information to propose specific spending cuts or tax increases to balance the budget.
"When you're looking at possibly over $3 billion, that is not a small sum by any stretch of the imagination, and yet they've talked about increasing K-12 spending, and things like that, so I would tell you, absolutely, that they should be more forthcoming," Ventura said.
The next governor is almost certain to be greeted by a deficit upon taking office in January. Because the last revenue forecast was done in February, the leading candidates say they can't be sure how big of a gap they'll be dealing with. Finance officials say it could be anywhere between $1.6 billion and $2.7 billion through June 2005.
"You can't have an honest debate if people can fudge the numbers," Penny said at a news conference before delivering to Ventura a letter with his request.
Penny said he would look at cuts covering everything the state spends money on - including education and local government aid - and a package of tax increases, except for the income tax.
None of the candidates has released a list of specific spending cuts. Republican Tim Pawlenty has pledged not to increase taxes, while Penny, DFLer Roger Moe and Green Party candidate Ken Pentel say they would consider tax increases to balance the budget.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.