By STEVE KARNOWSKI
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s projected surplus has grown to over $1.5 billion, state budget officials said on Thursday.
The new estimate from Minnesota Management and Budget is $181 million higher than the agency’s last budget forecast in November. And it means lawmakers will have more money to spend, save or cut taxes.
The agency attributed the surplus to a small increase in tax-revenue projections and a small reduction in spending estimates for the current two-year budget period, which runs through June 2021.
Minnesota’s economic outlook remains stable, the agency said in a statement, and it’s still projecting slower growth in the future.
Budget Commissioner Myron Frans was scheduled to provide more detail at a briefing for reporters later Thursday. Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leaders planned to comment afterward.
House Democrats have already said their top priority for the surplus is spending more on early childhood instruction. House and Senate Republicans have called for tax cuts. Walz has urged caution, using some of the surplus to service the debt on his proposal for public construction projects and saving much of the rest.