Following Thursday's disclosure that Minnesota was facing a larger-than-expected $6.2 billion budget deficit for the next biennium, state economist Tom Stinson said that while things appear grim from a fiscal standpoint, the state's economy has been steadily if modestly improving, a trend he expects to continue.
Minnesota is facing a fiscal mess. That much has been evident for a long time.
DFL gubernatorial nominee Mark Dayton has not had a good September. The Department of Revenue estimated that his proposed tax increase on the rich would yield not quite half of the $4 billion he originally claimed it would generate; when Dayton submitted a revised budget, it got the tax proceeds right but still fell almost $1 billion of solving the deficit.
Following the release of nationwide May jobs data on Friday, we spoke with a very glum Tom Stinson. Minnesota's state economist said that the employment figures came to about 10 percent of the real job growth he'd been hoping to see in the report.
The state’s 2010-2011 general fund deficit dropped by more than $200 million on Tuesday in the semi-annual economic forecast.
With the release of another economic forecast this week, fiscal analysts, lawmakers, reporters and the rest of the Capitol world set about their semi-annual search through the details of the state’s most recent budget performance.
Minnesota's budget gap narrowed in the economic forecast released this morning. Lawmakers are now looking at a $994-million general fund shortfall for 2010-2011. That's an improvement from $1.2 billion in red ink in last November's economic forecast.
So far this fall, Stinson's bad deficit news hasn't added too much worry about the state's ability to repay its debts, according to Kimberly Lyon, an analyst monitoring Minnesota for Moody's Investor Service.
Minnesota lawmakers hope to move a $1 billion bonding bill through the 2010 Legislature in as expeditious a manner as possible, with the goal of putting unemployed Minnesotans back to work.
The day in photos from the Capitol.
House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, announced the House Jobs Task Force with the stated intention of crafting legislation for the 2010 legislative session that would increase jobs in Minnesota.
Past governors and legislative leaders fault both politics and demographics.
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