ST. PAUL, MINN. – Minnesota’s February budget forecast is showing the biggest surplus the state has seen in 15 years. The Minnesota Management and Budget Office reported a positive balance of $1.233 billion for FY2014-2015. This is an improvement of several hundred million dollars since November’s budget forecast and is the product of both increased revenue and a decrease of $48 million in spending projections.
“This forecast shows that Minnesota’s economy continues to grow stronger,” said Senator LeRoy Stumpf (DFL-Plummer).
As chair of the Capital Investment Committee, Sen. Stumpf has encouraged legislative leaders to support the use of a portion of this surplus to be reinvested into state assets, such as roads and bridges that are in desperate need of repair after the brutal winter season, “It is the people’s money and it should be given back in the form of investments that will create jobs, revitalize Minnesota’s infrastructure, provide affordable housing and keep our economy moving forward,” he said.
Since October, Sen. Stumpf and the Capital Investment Committee have toured hundreds of bonding requests state-wide. After seeing the positive forecast Friday, Senate Majority Leader Bakk joined Sen. Stumpf in his recommendation.
“This is an opportunity for my colleagues to responsibly invest money into projects that will make an enormous difference to communities of all sizes throughout Minnesota,” said Sen. Stumpf.
While the forecast is certainly good news for the state, Sen. Stumpf cautioned against spending most of the surplus. Increasing the state’s rainy day fund and strengthening the budget reserves remain a priority. That move also supports MMB’s recommendation of increasing the state’s budget reserves which are at least 6 percent lower than advised.
Sen. Stumpf welcomes your questions and comments; you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling his office at (651) 296-8660.
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