Budget Surprise 02 Dec 11

Minnesota got a big budget surprise Thursday. State officials say they’re estimating an $876-million surplus for the rest of the state’s two-year budget. The news came as some at the capitol feared $500-million to $1-billion in red ink next year. Even with the good news, a budget deficit still looms in 2014.

Republican Representative Ron Shimanski of Silver Lake had these comments about the surplus, saying “During the 2011 legislative session we made the difficult decisions at where we could cut back, and we were able to do so effectively.” “Our focus must remain on the economic climate of Minnesota and continuing to sustain a healthy budget that allows job creators to succeed in Minnesota.”

Minnesota Management and Budget has indicated according to state law, $255-million will be used to bring the state’s cash-flow account back to a total of $350-million, which is the statutory maximum, and the remaining $621-million be used to bring the state’s budget reserves to a total of $648-million, $ 5-million below the $653 million statutory maximum.