The state’s budget office reported Friday, that Minnesota’s projected budget surplus is expected to grow to nearly $1.9 billion, up $832 million from a previous projection. The updated surplus will shape much of the discussion as lawmakers work to put together the next two-year budget.
Gov. Mark Dayton has already proposed a $42-billion budget, with the majority of new spending earmarked for education. The governor will most likely submit a revised proposal based on Friday’s forecast. Republicans have said they’ll seek tax cuts.
The newest budget forecast could also have an impact on the transportation discussion. While everyone agrees transportation funding is needed, how to pay for it has been a large debate. Having an even larger surplus than expected should help Republicans argument who have said they would like to the use money from the surplus for road projects in the short term. Dayton has proposed new taxes and fees to fund the needed transportation projects.