ST. PAUL – State economists say the current state budget deficit is shrinking, but many long term fiscal problems remain.
According to the most recent budget projections, Minnesota now faces a $5.1 billion shortfall, down from a $6.2 billion prediction in November.
“This news can be viewed as a glimmer of hope,” said State Representative Greg Davids (R-Preston). “It’s always good news when $984 million is eliminated from a budget shortfall, but there’s still $5 billion to go, and now the tough choices begin.”
Davids, the powerful chair of the Minnesota House Taxes Committee, noted much of the revenue increases came from better collections from Minnesota’s income and sales taxes. While this news was unexpected, outlandish state government spending projections were not, as Minnesota spending is now expected to increase by 29 percent if reforms aren’t made this year.
Davids said it’s imperative that government spends only what its available.
“State economists tell us our revenue is growing by 8.8 percent, and that budget spending can increase from $32 to $33.5 billion without a problem,” Davids said. “I believe most reasonable Minnesotans believe that an eight percent increase in government spending is enough.”
By the end of this month, Davids said the Minnesota House will have approved a balanced budget plan.