The steady stream of meetings with various groups – including many from the district – continues in St. Paul, including with Farm Bureau folks (above) and Yellow Medicine Watershed Board members (below). Thanks to all those who continue coming by the Capitol to share their views on whatever issues are important to them.
Here is a quick look at some of this week’s headlines from St. Paul:
Minnesota Management & Budget issued an updated economic forecast for the state this week. It reports a surplus of $1 billion into the next biennium, which is down from $1.5 billion projected in November. Here’s what MMB says about this in its report:
“The projected balance for the upcoming biennium is $1.052 billion, which is $492 million less than the November forecast. Slower projected economic growth and lower observed collections compared to prior estimates result in a reduced revenue forecast throughout the budget horizon. A slightly lower expenditure forecast partially offsets the overall reduction to the projected balance. The trend of slower growth continues into the planning horizon with projected spending growth outpacing forecast revenue growth into FY 2022-23.”
This means two things to me as we work to set a new two-year state budget. First, with a surplus, a tax increase really needs to be off the table. In addition, we need to proceed with caution in setting a new spending total. I think we need to be really smart about this to make sure we’ve got a little buffer room – obviously, we’ve seen a decline in the last few months.
Hearings took place this week for a pair of bills that propose new restrictions on guns. Here’s a quick overview:
As a Second Amendment advocate I do not support these bills. We would be better served by focusing our efforts on mental health issues to help provide support people need to avoid getting to those violent places in the first place. Also, I am authoring a bill that makes practical sense by providing tax exemptions on purchases of gun safes to provide further incentive for gun owners secure their firearms.
Look for more news soon and, until next time, have a great weekend.