Uncertainty best describes current sessionThe 86th Legislative Session began last week and one word describes the atmosphere: Uncertainty.
By: Dist. 22A Rep. Doug Magnus, R-Slayton, Worthington Daily Globe
The 86th Legislative Session began last week and one word describes the atmosphere: Uncertainty.
No one likes to deal with uncertainty. Businesses sure don’t.
We as citizens don’t like uncertainty, either, in any aspect of our lives, although I do have to admit a bit of uncertainty can be helpful with your spouse from time to time. It keeps them guessing a little bit and helps keep life interesting.
You can be sure that if businesses and citizens don’t like uncertainty, governments and politicians hate it even more. We all like to have the ability to make plans with an assurance of some accuracy. If folks can’t make plans in their private lives and family budgets, let alone develop businesses plans, we are in a mess. And that is the one thing that is certain — we are definitely in a mess.
The national and global economic difficulties have certainly had an effect on our state. As of the late November budget forecast, Minnesota faced huge shortfalls of $426 million in the current biennium that ends June 30. Worse yet, the expected shortfall for the 2010-11 biennium starting July 1 was forecast at $4.8 billion. I call it the bad and the ugly news.
Remember, I’m calling this the “uncertainty” session. Those numbers are from the November budget forecast. With all this uncertainty, businesses are hunkering down. They are laying people off, cutting spending everywhere they can, and in some cases shutting down operations or even closing the doors. The unemployment numbers continue to climb with seemingly no relief in sight.
In this scenario it is obvious that the next state budget forecast, which comes out in late February, will be significantly worse. The uncertainty is just how much worse.
In my opinion, as long as the unemployment numbers increase, so will our budget problems.
That is a certainty, too.
As session moves ahead, I will be sure to give you further updates of how our budget problems are shaping up.