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Minnesota forecasts $1.54 billion surplus

Plus: little of promised farm bailout reaches Minnesota; no quick fixes for Minnesota tax code predicted; U of M hospital building new brain-cancer surgical suite; and more.

Minnesota State Capitol
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Some budget breathing room. The Star Tribune’s Jessie Van Berkel reports: “Minnesota’s economy is humming and is expected to generate a $1.54 billion state budget surplus, providing a financial launchpad for incoming Gov. Tim Walz.”

Follow-through maybe not the administration’s strong suit. WCCO’s Pat Kessler reports:Only a fraction of a $12 billion federal bailout program to help farmers hurt by trade tariffs has made it to Minnesota. … The United States Department of Agriculture reports it has disbursed $1.4 billion in emergency farm aid so far through November 26 — out of the total $12 billion it promised. … USDA officials declined WCCO-TV’s request to reveal how much Minnesota farmers are getting, but USDA data obtained by the watchdog Environmental Working Group shows the majority of Minnesota bailout money is going to a small number of big farms.

Tax conformity yields to tax resignation. MPR’s Brian Bakst reports: “There won’t be a mad dash to rewrite Minnesota’s tax code when the Legislature returns to action in January. … Key lawmakers in both parties said Wednesday that it’s too late to better align the state and federal systems ahead of the 2019 filing season.

Sounds expensive. KARE’s Chris Hrapsky reports: “University of Minnesota Health and Fairview Health Services are building a first-in-the-world surgical suite promising to revolutionize the way brain cancers are treated. … It’s simply called the T-suite, named for its shape.”

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In other news…

You’d miss them:Brooks: Struggling bookshops turn to online fundraisers to keep lights on” [Star Tribune]

Wood you believe it:Largest jack pine in US confirmed in Voyageurs Park” [Duluth News Tribune]

Not acknowledging wrongdoing:Target to pay $7.4M to settle California waste suit” [KSTP]

So noted:10 Notable Minnesota Albums of 2018” [The Current]

Of interest:MST3K creator Joel Hodgson on 30 years of making fun of movies.” [Slate]