Good news: Minnesota expects $876 million surplus - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Good news: Minnesota expects $876 million surplus

Updated:

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) --  Finally some good news regarding Minnesota's forecasted budget. Many budget officials are estimating a surprise 876-million dollar surplus instead... for the remainder of the state's two-year budget.

"We've now got a cushion against some of the future risks the state still has," says Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Showalter.  "After years of bad budget news, it seems sometimes that it always going to be bad budget news. Certainly Minnesota still has, and has had, some strength. And this forecast reveals some of those."

The forecast wasn't all good news.  It projected a deficit of $1.3 billion dollars for fiscal years 2014-15. So these strengths are becoming even more important because of the not-so-distant future.  There are still some questions with this surplus forecast that hinge on different factors like holiday shopping, farmer's intake and the flux of the European markets. But Minnesota is still fairing strong comparatively.

"The Minnesota Economy is doing better than nationally," says State Economist Dr. Tom Stinson. "Jobs and wages are growing faster than the U.S. average. And that improvement is expected to continue through 2012."

And with the Budget being the center of attention during this summer's 20-day government shutdown, there different beliefs on how we arrived to this surplus.

Sen. Amy Koch shared hers, saying "I think the one thing that I hope has been made apparent here with this forecast is that the Dayton Tax-Hike Plan is dead."

 "They've got an extreme view of protecting millionaires from paying a dollar more in taxes and everyone else gets socked. So let them take that to the polls next November," responded Gov. Mark Dayton responded.

Gov. Dayton also explained he was glad for Minnesota.

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