We received good news on Thursday as state economists revealed that Minnesota is projected to have a $1.54 billion budget surplus for the coming biennium. The state’s top budget director, Myron Frans, said that the surplus is due to greater-than-projected tax revenue and state expenditures that were lower than previously predicted.
In addition to the surplus, the state’s budget reserves have now surpassed $2 billion—marking the largest budget reserve in state history. This budget reserve is a rainy day fund for the state that is important to keep funded in the event of an economic downturn.
Minnesota has experienced quite a financial turnaround the last several years as we’ve seen budget deficits turn into sizable surpluses. I believe a great deal of this turnaround and the improved state economy is due to lower taxes and less government spending—both of which were legislative priorities the last four years. With that said, I’d also like to commend Governor Dayton for his leadership as well. It takes the Senate, House, and Governor’s office working together to get these reforms passed and signed into law.
I plan on continuing to advocate for a lower tax burden for you and your family in the coming legislative session.
Opioids and Mental Health
On Sunday I will be on Roshini Rajkumar’s WCCO radio show around 12:30 to talk about health care, mental health, and the opioid epidemic.
As you know, fighting opioid addiction is something that is very important to myself, my family, and our community. I worked very hard on a bill last session that addressed the opioid epidemic in a number of ways. Some of those reforms passed into law, but there are many more to go. There’s still so much we can do.
Minnesota lost over 400 people in 2017 from opioid overdoses with other states losing as many as 2500. Those states, like Minnesota, are desperate to solve this problem. I recently returned from a national conference on opioid addiction, where we discussed what states across the nation are doing to combat this epidemic. Minnesota continues to lead on this issue and I am committed to seeing this through to the end.
Staying in Touch
We all know this is a very busy time of year, one that I hope is spent with family and friends. A special shout out to our community volunteers that have brought Robbins Island “to life” with the Willmar community's "Celebrate the Lights" display. It looks absolutely amazing and I encourage everyone to see the new home for the Koosman Lights that so many have come to appreciate over the years.
Have a good weekend,