ST. PAUL, MINN. – From the start of this most recent legislative session, the DFL controlled Minnesota Senate has made it a priority to pay back the millions owed to the state’s K-12 school system. Today, as we head into the holiday season we can say thanks to a progressive tax policy and holding the line on state spending, we have been able to pay back the $246 million the state still owes the school system. This news comes on the heels of the Minnesota Management and Budget Office’s November budget forecast, which announced the state has a projected surplus of $825 million after the school repayment.
Senator LeRoy Stumpf (DFL-Plummer) is a long-time champion of investment in K-12 education and nearly a decade ago was the lead author of a bill that ensured Minnesota always paid back schools first once the state reserves were fulfilled.
“I’ve always made it a priority in my Senate career to do what is right and ensure we are investing in education, and investing in the future. This year the Senate kept its promises of paying back schools quickly and responsibly, and I’m happy to see our rebounding economy helped us accomplish this goal,” Senator Stumpf said.
He added, “This strong economic forecast shows that not only have we made good on our promise to pay back schools, Minnesota’s economy is growing again. Our unemployment rate is down and jobs numbers are back to pre-recession levels – things ALL Minnesotans can celebrate.”
Senator Stumpf along with many in the Senate would like to reiterate that this is a preliminary forecast that requires caution before making any decisions. The final amount in state coffers won’t be known until the February forecast at the beginning of the 2014 session. It would not be responsible to make promises to Minnesota families and businesses about how we will use the surplus, when we will have more accurate, up-to-date information in just a few months.