Today we received some good news for Minnesota. The projected deficit went from $1.1 billion to $627 million. We were able to pay our schools back another $290 million, but that still leaves us $801 million short of what we owe.
Overall, this is encouraging news. It shows Minnesota continues to move in the right direction and that our economy keeps improving. But it also highlights the work we still have to do. We must be sensible in our decisions to ensure that Minnesota is on a path towards financial stability.
Even with a recovering economy, we still have a shortfall. The last ten years have seen repeated one-time gimmicks that simply kick the can down the road. This session gives us the opportunity to put an end to this cycle. This session, we need to put Minnesota on a stable road forward, start investing in Minnesota again and work together to end the constant deficits.
The next few months will consist of looking closely at every penny of spending. We need to continue to find places where government can be more efficient, cut spending when it is appropriate and improve overall productivity. One of the reasons we see an improved forecast is because of the reforms and efficiencies Governor Dayton put in place.
It is important we continue to save money wherever we can. It will allow us to make the investments we need in education, transportation, long-term care and health services, our veterans and other important programs. That is how we put Minnesota on the path to long-term success – by making the investments today that will help us be more productive tomorrow and in the future.