Anticipating a multibillion-dollar projected state budget deficit, a state legislator on Tuesday called for a freeze on state spending.

Rep. Paul Kohls, R-Victoria, said his proposal would limit spending for the 2010-11 budget cycle to the current $34.6 billion or the amount of revenue projected in Thursday's state economic forecast, whichever is less.

Kohls said his proposal would cap spending for the 2010-11 cycle, which runs from July 2009 through June 2011, but does not dictate how the money would be spent. Kohls suggested an actual increase in K-12 spending, with an offset by reductions in the health and human services budget or reductions in grants to nonprofits, which he said should seek funding from the private sector,

"The taxpayers of Minnesota -- the people who pay the bills -- can't afford it," Kohls said at a morning news conference at the state Capitol complex in St. Paul.