I hope this message finds you and your family in good health and good cheer during the holiday season. Many among us are still struggling due to the ongoing pandemic’s health impacts, and the economic turmoil from which many are still working to emerge. Nevertheless, this is a season for hope, joy, and fellowship, and despite the challenges before us, I hope you’re able to celebrate the season with friends and family.
Officials from Minnesota Management and Budget recently announced the results of the November Economic Forecast, which included a projected $7.7 billion positive budget balance for the current budget cycle. The forecast includes strong indicators of economic recovery, including growth in income, consumer spending, and corporate profits all driving revenue growth. Employment continues to recover toward pre-pandemic levels and U.S. Real Gross Domestic Product continues to grow. The state’s budget reserve again has a healthy balance of $2.656 billion. Still, officials noted caution due to economic uncertainty and the continued pandemic, both of which pose a significant risk to the forecast.
The state’s strong economic position is a testament to recovery efforts from President Biden, Governor Walz, and DFLers in Saint Paul and Washington, but above all else, it is a credit to the Minnesotans who have been resilient through some incredibly difficult times, including those facing economic hardship and working on the front lines of COVID. Despite the strong forecast including a historic budget surplus, workers and families are still facing challenges in their daily lives.
The next legislative session is set to start on January 31. House DFLers are committed to addressing the urgent needs of workers and families right now, as well as continuing to build a state that works better for everyone over the long term.
The COVID-19 pandemic is still here, with the Delta variant still spreading, and the Omicron variant quickly emerging, our health care systems are again facing immense pressure. Hospital admissions are rising and ICUs are nearing capacity. Nurses and doctors are overworked and exhausted, both physically and emotionally. Leaders from Minnesota’s health care systems recently purchased a full-page newspaper ad pleading with Minnesotans to do their part to help end this crisis.
As we prepare to celebrate the holidays, none of us want to see a loved one get sick, and all of us have to do our part to protect one another in our families and in our community. Here are the steps we can all take to help ensure we can all be safe this holiday season:
There are currently more than 500 employment vacancies within Minnesota state government. Agencies such as the Department of Human Services, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Department of Corrections, MN.IT Services and more are all seeking job applicants with a variety of expertise and backgrounds. The state is committed to diversity and inclusion within the hiring process. Explore job openings and learn more at www.mn.gov/careers.
Please feel free to reach out to share your feedback, offer your ideas, or let me know if I can be of help. It’s an honor to represent you.
Again, I offer best wishes for a happy and safe holiday season.