For more information contact: Andrew Wagner 651-296-2809
This week, the Minnesota Management and Budget Office (MMB) released the November budget forecast, which gives lawmakers and the Governor an idea of the state's financial picture as we look ahead to the start of session in January.
Minnesota has about a $1 billion surplus for the upcoming budget cycle 2016-2017. The $1 billion is made up of $556 million in greater-than-expected revenue due to higher sales and income tax revenues carried over from the 2014-2015 budget, and $664 million in projected higher-than-expected revenues for 2016-2017.
A surplus alone is not a mandate to spend more of your hard-earned tax dollars. To start, estimates are that about $900 million of the $1 billion surplus will go toward covering the cost of inflation for the next budget. Inflation is not accounted for in revenue reports by MMB. That leaves a relatively small $100 million cushion, the difference between a deficit and a surplus.
We have to remember that tax dollars ultimately come from the pockets of Minnesota families. We should be examining every dollar spent by the government, and make sure it's being spent effectively and not being wasted on things we don't need.
News of a surplus will not deter Republicans from looking for ways to make existing programs more efficient and cutting wasteful spending. We will continue to value and be good stewards of your tax dollars, and do what we can to make your life less expensive.
For more information on the November budget forecast, visit my legislative Facebook Page to see recent posts.
Committee assignments will be handed out in the next week or two, and I will be sure to update you when that information is made available.
In Our Community
This morning I attended the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast, which included presentations by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. Their presentations talked about issues at the federal level and how they may impact our work at the legislature here in Minnesota, as well as their priorities for the upcoming session.
On Wednesday, I attended a legislative breakfast put on by the Minnesota Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing (MICAH). The non-profit group looks at ways to expand housing opportunities for low-income Minnesotans. MICAH shared their priorities for the upcoming session and held an informal discussion with legislators in attendance.