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Minnesota budget forecast: surplus grows to $1.65 billion

The new forecast sets the stage for debate over the state’s next two-year budget.

Minnesota State Capitol
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

Minnesota lawmakers have a $1.65 billion budget surplus as they debate the state’s next two-year budget.

The February economic forecast, released Tuesday, showed continued revenue growth in Minnesota in 2018 and 2019 as well as a balance of $743 million on the bottom line in the current budgeting year. The $1.65 billion surplus is up from the last economic forecast in November, which showed a projected $1.4 billion budget surplus.

The positive economic outlook continues into 2020 and 2021, but state budget officials warned of unknown federal policy changes that could put the forecast at risk.

Constitutionally, state lawmakers must agree to a two-year state budget this year. Gov. Mark Dayton has already proposed a nearly $46 billion state budget for the next two years. Legislators will start writing their budget bills using the updated forecast.

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Minnesota budget officials, the state economist and politicians will react to the forecast late Tuesday morning.