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Minnesota expects $1.4 billion budget surplus

Don Davis

Forum News Service

ST. PAUL — Minnesota policymakers should have a $1.4 billion available when they start to draw up a two-year state budget in a month, state officials announced Friday, Dec. 2.

“Minnesota’s budget and economic outlook remains stable, despite continued slow economic growth,” Minnesota Management and Budget reported. “Lower forecast revenue projections are partially offset by reduced spending estimates.”

The current two-year budget is expected to end on June 30 with a $678 million balance. The new revenues and lower spending for the next two years would produce the $1.4 billion surplus.

However, there will be demands on the money, such as higher spending in many areas and calls for tax cuts. Republicans also are expected to ask for reduced spending in some areas.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton will use the figure to draw up a budget plan he must present to lawmakers next month. An updated budget report around the end of February will allow Dayton to tweak his proposal with the latest information and his revised budget plan and newest economic report will form the basis for the Republican-controlled Legislature to write its version of a two-year budget.

The current budget is about $42 billion.

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