Letter: Major state budget improvement is encouragingThe start of the holiday season brought welcome news at the State Capitol, as economists have projected Minnesota will now face an $876 million surplus.
By: District 22A Rep. Joe Schomacker, R-Luverne, Worthington Daily Globe
The start of the holiday season brought welcome news at the State Capitol, as economists have projected Minnesota will now face an $876 million surplus.
In just a few months, Minnesota’s economy has made a $6 billion turnaround. I expected the legislative decisions we made last year would show financial improvement over time, but I did not anticipate this significant surplus would arrive this quickly.
The key to the surplus was slowing the growth of government, as more than $348 million was trimmed from the Fiscal Year 2012-13 forecast.
Economists also noted that Minnesota’s jobs and wages are expected to grow faster than the rest of the country, with over one-third of the jobs lost in the last recession already coming back in the state.
According to state law, the $876 million surplus is already spent. A total of $255 million will be used to fully restore Minnesota’s cash flow account, and the remaining $621 million will be placed in Minnesota’s budget reserves. If politicians can restrain themselves from spending the reserves in the next year, it will slash the $1.3 billion deficit for the next budget to $300 million.
This is wonderful fiscal news, and I expect our next session will continue to focus on reforming government and creating jobs. If we can find ways to eliminate duplicative programs and spend less, and put more people to work, our economy will continue to grow.