By Senator Jeff Howe
On Thursday, Feb. 28, Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) released its annual February budget forecast. The forecast, which is used to guide the process of assembling the state’s upcoming two-year budget, shows a budget surplus of $1.052 billion – down from the $1.5 billion budget surplus projected in November.
The budget forecast shows the state is in good fiscal shape – but it also means the state has collected too much revenue. As we work over the next several months to craft a responsible two-year state budget, the latest budget surplus projection shows we can do it while spending within our current means. Governor Walz’s budget proposal includes over $3 billion in tax increases, which I do not believe are necessary in a time of surplus.
The budget forecast also underscores the need to contain government spending. Over the next several weeks, my colleagues and I will continue putting together a responsible budget proposal that funds the needs of Minnesotans without raising taxes. The legislature will have a robust and vibrant conversation about how to find common ground and move forward with a productive conversation on how to best meet the needs of Minnesotans in all corners of the state.
I look forward to working with Governor Walz, the House, and my colleagues in the Senate to pass a bipartisan budget that truly meets the needs of Minnesotans across the state. Senator Howe can be reached at (651) 296-2084 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.