From the state of Minnesota: "
The February budget and economic forecast shows a positive balance of $1.233 billion for fiscal years 2014-2015. This is an improvement of $408 million from the November budget forecast. Since November, revenue projects have increased by $366 million and spending projections have decreased by $48 million. Other adjustments account for the difference. The 2016-17 structural balance is projected to be $2.599 billion for 2016-2017."
The new forecast number -- $1.23 billion surplus -- could give lawmakers a chance to deliver tax cuts, give nursing home employees a rate hike, and put some money into reserves. #mnforecast
Political points you will likely hear about the forecast--
-- This shows that tax increases on the wealthy did not kill growth.
-- This allows us to give the middle class tax breaks, "invest" in needy programs *and* bulk up the reserves.
-- You don't want to change from Gov.. Mark Dayton and DFL House leadership that brought us this good news.
-- This shows Democrats over taxed the state's way to surplus.
-- Democrats should not get credit for the economy that began improvement under Republican legislative leadership.
-- Democrats will now have to admit they made a mistake by putting in place business-to-business taxes in the first place and its hypocritical for them to claim victory when they undo those taxes.
From Republican gubernatorial candidate Kurt Zellers' official office:
“While Governor Dayton and DFL legislators take a victory lap over the projected surplus, Minnesota families and small business owners are getting stuck with the bill. Only in politics could someone raise taxes by $2 billion and then cheer over a $1.2 billion surplus.
“In addition, while growth is happening in the Twin Cities, large parts of our state in Greater Minnesota are not fairing as well. We need to make our entire state an engine of economic growth. That's why I have always and will continue to support policies that help our logging, agricultural and mining economy.
“Unfortunately Governor Dayton has been focused on policies that hurt our ability to provide opportunities for all Minnesotans. Whether it's a new $63 million office building for Senators, pay increases for politicians, or the state's failed experiment with Obamacare, it's clear we need new leadership in St. Paul.”
House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown: “What this shows is that
Democrats have collected too much money from the taxpayers. Let’s send
We are awaiting the 11 am forecast press conference, which will feature Minnesota Management & Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter, State Economist Dr. Laura Kalambokidis and State Budget Director Margaret Kelly. At 11 am we will also get, and quickly share and devour, full forecast documents.