Minnesota faces projected $1.2 billion budget shortfall

In what is becoming a routine state Capitol event, state finance officials this morning will announce another shortfall in the budget.

This time around, the shortfall will be about $1.2 billion for the current 2010-11 biennium. The problem: A still-lagging economy is producing revenues that are falling even farther behind projections of just six months ago.

As has become routine, the 11 a.m. announcement of finance officials will be followed by a news conference with Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is expected to say that he hopes to work with legislators to find a way to bring the budget into balance — without raising taxes.

And has become routine, DFL-legislative leaders will follow the governor’s meeting with reporters with one of their own. They, too, are expected to say that they hope to work with the governor in solving this problem but almost certainly will say that new revenues — tax increases — are needed to bring the budget into balance.

By the way, the next forecast will come in six months.

Check back later today for further MinnPost coverage and analysis.

Doug Grow writes about public affairs, state politics and other topics. He can be reached at dgrow [at] minnpost [dot] com.

Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Annalise Cudahy on 12/02/2009 - 12:01 pm.

    Wow, we even managed to surprise a mega-bear like me. I was guessing more in the range of $800M, or about $400M a year. I think that the real problem comes in 2011 because the previous forecast called for significant growth by then, something that is clearly not going to happen.

    So, when are we going to get real about this? Anyone?

  2. Submitted by Brian Simon on 12/02/2009 - 01:16 pm.

    “Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is expected to say that he hopes to work with legislators to find a way to bring the budget into balance — without raising taxes.”

    Pawlenty: “And for my next trick, I’ll pat my head and rub my belly at the same time – with one hand tied behind my back!”

  3. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 12/02/2009 - 01:32 pm.

    Get real? MN is just going through the inevitable result of averaging double-digit budget growth since the 60’s.

    Such irresponsible spending has to end.

    However, double-digit growth is the only way the DFL will be able to “pay-off” the special interests who dominate the DFL party.

  4. Submitted by Howard Miller on 12/02/2009 - 01:52 pm.

    People who whine about budget growth want their roads paved, their criminals incarcerated, their parks and lakes maintained, their children educated. Some of those things are driven by state constitutional requirements (eg., education), some by politics (lock up criminals, throw away the key!)

    If people want public budgets cut, it’d be helpful if they’d offer up their chunk of public services they appreciate to the chopping block

  5. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/02/2009 - 08:03 pm.

    Minnesota was doing fine until we started cutting taxes. Then we discovered that we actually had to pay for what we got, and everyone wanted someone else to give things up.

  6. Submitted by Charles Senkler on 12/04/2009 - 11:03 am.

    Can the state iqnore the 1.2 Billion bi-annual projected for simply legalising e-tabs. The hospitality industry is shrinking, small business is in trouble and the Native Indian casino owners are living like kings.
    The average reservation tribe member takes home 1.2 Million a yaer with no state or federal taxes.
    Electronic pull tabs are an upgrade of a legal form of gaming and no expansion of the type of games available.
    600 Million a year to the state, money for charities and some degree of relief for the Hospitality Industry of the state.
    The only problem is the huge financial committment in lobbying funded by the tribes.

  7. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 12/04/2009 - 12:51 pm.

    “The average reservation tribe member takes home 1.2 million a year with no state or federal taxes.”

    Could you tell me, Mr. Senkler, where you found that figure? Since most of Minnesota’s Native Americans live in poverty, whoever is spreading “information” that each of them gets that much money is no doubt mistaken.

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