Budget forecast shows $329M state surplus

by Trevor Russell

The new state forecast, released Wednesday, February 28, shows a projected budget surplus of $329 million for the 2018-19 biennium. The last budget forecast at the end of 2017 predicted a revenue shortfall of $188 million. 

According to Minnesota Management and Budget:
“Higher forecasts for all the major tax types contribute to the change. This forecast reflects increased U.S economic growth arising in part from short-term stimulus from federal tax law changes. After accounting for recently enacted legislative budget appropriations, spending for the biennium is projected to be $167 million lower than November estimates. Federal reauthorization of appropriations for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is the most significant driver of the lower overall expenditure forecast. The improved budget outlook continues into the 2020-21 planning estimates with modest structural balance projected for that biennium.”

Securing the Clean Water Fund Payback

One of our top priorities this session is to ensure that the Legislature repays the $22 million re-allocated from the Clean Water Fund last session to fund local government operations. According to a provision in last year's tax bill, this positive budget surplus should result in the full payback of the Clean Water Fund, a vital step forward for water quality in Minnesota.