St. Paul – Today, the Department of Management and Budget announced that Minnesota is projected to accrue a $641 million surplus through the end of this year’s budget, ending June 30, 2021. However, the State of Minnesota is facing a projected $1.273 billion deficit for the next two-year budget. Rep. Jeremy Munson (Republican-Lake Crystal) made the following statement:
“Minnesota is facing a $1.273 billion deficit for the next two years. Governor Walz ignored the Minnesota Legislature and unilaterally made every decision that brought us to this point. His repeated shutdowns of whole industries brought significant economic damage. When some workers were arbitrarily deemed essential, and others were not, our economy was subjected to waves of inconsistency and supply chain disruptions that severely impacted our state revenue streams.
Back in February, we actually had a budget surplus of $1.5 billion for this year. Unfortunately, most of that surplus has already evaporated. Today, it stands at $641 million. Frankly, one of the only reasons our financial standing is not worse is because the federal government borrowed trillions of dollars to redistribute amongst select individuals and businesses across the country.
As state legislators, my colleagues and I are required to balance the state budget by eliminating the coming $1.273 billion deficit. Tough decisions will need to be made, but tax increases are not the answer. To further add to the economic burdens we face is not sound policy. This year’s $641 million surplus should be used to partially cover the shortfall, but cuts to our state spending will also be necessary.
As we prepare for the 2021 legislative session, many small businesses are hurting from the shutdowns. Meanwhile, lobbyists for large businesses and industries are coming out of the woodwork to demand that the legislature pick winners and losers by giving taxpayer money only to certain groups. However, the obvious place to start helping all businesses and workers is to end the shutdowns and trust Minnesotans to make decisions that best fit their circumstances and protect their families, customers and communities. The state should not be picking winners and losers.”
The complete economic forecast will be published on Thursday, December 3rd.