On Thursday, Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) released its annual November budget forcast, showing an estimated budget surplus of  $1.332 billion for the 2020-2021 biennium. The next legislative session is scheduled to convene on February 11, 2020. 

Senator Gary Dahms, of Redwood Falls, said Thursday, “We must approach the budget surplus with a responsible mindset. When the legislature convenes in February, I am optimistic we will consider policies that will benefit Minnesotans including social security tax reductions for senior citizens, section 179 tax relief for farmers, school safety improvements, road and bridge improvements and expansions, and a responsible bonding bill.” 

Senator Bill Weber, of Luverne, stated, “While it is good that we don’t have budget problems … we must be careful not to think we can go back to St. Paul in February and add a whole new round of substantial spending programs. This surplus does not belong to bureaucrats; it belongs to the taxpayers of Minnesota…. There are also many worthwhile local projects across our state; perhaps we can pay cash for those projects rather than adding excessive debt to the burden of the Minnesota taxpayer.”

In accordance with Minnesota law, the forecasted surplus accounts for an automatic transfer to the state’s budget reserve, now fully funded at $2.359 billion.