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Minnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R)

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WALZ’S SHUTDOWN CAUSES BUDGET DEFICIT

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

St. Paul – Today, the Minnesota Management and Budget agency announced that Minnesota is facing a projected $2.426 billion deficit for the current biennium. In February of this year, Minnesota had a projected surplus of $1.513. 

“Both the pandemic and the resulting economic shutdown are directly responsible for the sudden change in our state’s budget,” said Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa). “We knew our state’s economy would be impacted by the pandemic itself. However, the governor has exacerbated that pain by shutting down our state economy. That shutdown has interrupted normal state government revenue streams and created this new deficit.” 

Minnesota currently has $2.359 billion in a rainy-day savings fund which can be used in case of emergencies. Additionally, the federal government is expected to send financial help to state governments in their next round of federal COVID-19 related legislation. 

“Governor Walz unwisely took a sledgehammer to Minnesota’s economy, and we are all suffering for that decision,” said Rep. Drazkowski. “In addition to destroying livelihoods across the state, the governor has sent us from a surplus to a deficit.” 

The crafting of the next biennial budget will be enormously impacted by the projected deficit. Minnesota is required by the state constitution to balance its budget every year. As such, spending cuts or tax increases will have to be utilized to address the budget shortfall. 

“I want Minnesotans to remain vigilant in the coming months,” said Rep. Drazkowski. “Governor Walz has created a budget problem, and he is going to ask Minnesotans for a bailout. The governor will use this budget shortfall as an excuse to increase taxes. However, we cannot allow state government to double-dip into the pockets of hard-working Minnesotans. The new budget projection demonstrates that Minnesota needs to limit government, cut budgets, and not take more money from Minnesotans who are already struggling due to Governor Walz’s decision to shut down our economy.” 

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