Today, Minnesota Management and Budget released the November budget forecast. The forecast indicates that after fully funding state government for two years, there will be a $1.332 billion surplus available to the legislature. Additionally, the state reserve account, the state’s savings account, is at its highest balance ever and fully funded for the first time.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and Senate Finance Chair Julie Rosen released the following statements following the release of the state’s November budget forecast:
“State government was fully funded in the last session and we still have money left over. We’ve funded our priorities, the savings account is full, and it’s time to give it back,” said Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa). “This shows Senate Republican leadership on things like middle-class tax relief and responsible spending continue to benefit the state’s bottom line. This surplus needs to be approached with fiscal responsibility and accountability to the taxpayer – this is their money after all.
“Minnesota is just one of 13 states that still taxes social security income,” Gazelka continued. “We will look at fully exempting every senior citizen from paying taxes on their social security, providing relief for farmers through section 179, and income rate cuts for families. We also want to look at one-time options like: tab fee decreases, school safety improvements, cash for roads and bridges, and keep our borrowing through a bonding bill low in light of the extra cash on hand.”
“I’m very happy the reserve account is fully funded. This is great news for the security of future state budgets,” said Senate Finance Committee Chair Julie Rosen (R- Vernon Center). “And while we have more money than ever, our state agencies are spending with less accountability than ever. I’m expecting the Commissioners to do a deep dive into their budget and account for every penny before they come to the finance committee asking for more funding. Senate Republicans expect the agencies, the commissioners, and the Governor to be more accountable in their spending.”