MHTA – Minnesota state finance leaders say the budget surplus first announced at the end of the year has improved by $323 million. The latest budget forecast means revenues continue to exceed expenditures and points to improvements in both the state and national economy.
State leaders say the good economic news will likely not produce major changes during the 2012 legislative session. For one thing, the surplus will be used to replenish budget reserves drained during a number of dismal budget cycles.
“This forecast confirms the last forecast – our state’s economy is growing and our budget situation is improving,” said Minnesota Management & Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter. “The trouble is that we still have lots of IOUs so it’s not a time to let down our guard.”
Economists continue to say the recovery is slower than most. The forecast notes there is a $1.1 billion shortfall for the 2014-2015 budget cycle which begins next July. Back in November, an earlier forecast pegged the long-term deficit at $1.3 billion. To view the complete forecast, go to MMB’s website.