ST. PAUL, MN (AP) — Minnesota officials are forecasting that the state will have a $1.5 billion surplus for the next two-year budget period.
The forecast released Thursday by Minnesota Management and Budget sets the stage for the debate over taxes and spending in the 2019 legislative session. The surplus gives Gov.-elect Tim Walz and the Legislature more room for new spending initiatives, tax cuts or some combination of both.
The agency projects that the state will have $720 million to roll over into the next budget, and it predicts an additional $824 million surplus for the 2020-2021 budget for a total of $1.54 billion. And it says the state’s budget reserve now totals $2 billion.
The agency says Minnesota’s budget outlook remains sound despite slower growth expected through the period.
Minnesota officials are preparing to release a budget forecast that will set the stage for the.
Minnesota Management and Budget is due to issue the forecast late Thursday morning. The revenue and spending projections are expected to show a significant surplus, which would give Gov.-elect Tim Walz and the Legislature more room for new spending initiatives, tax cuts or some combination of both.
Walz is due to release his budget outline by Feb. 19. He plans to respond to the forecast this afternoon. Democratic and Republican legislative leaders will also comment on the projections.
The governor and lawmakers will get an updated forecast in February that will guide them through the end of the legislative session in May.