On Tuesday, Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) released an updated budget forecast, which projects an estimated budget deficit of $2.426 billion for the 2020-2021 biennium. The updated forecast, which is used to guide consideration of spending bills at the legislature, anticipates dramatically lower revenues as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In accordance with state law, the balance of the state’s budget reserve is $2.359 billion. In response, Senator Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson) issued the following statement:
“The updated budget forecast shows our budget surplus is now a projected deficit, which wasn’t entirely unexpected given the events of the past two months. Minnesota’s economy is in a state of tumult as we are just now beginning to see the devastating effects of this massive disruption to our economy. I expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future as we work toward recovery.
“The coronavirus pandemic stopped our economy in its tracks and wreaked havoc on livelihoods in all sectors. The only way to begin a recovery is by getting our economic engines roaring again. There are likely going to be some very difficult choices made as the legislature works through the budget deficit, but we will work through it. My top priority is getting Minnesotans back to work in a manner that prioritizes the health and safety of both consumers and workers.”
The balance of the state’s budget reserve is $2.359 billion in accordance with state law. The 2020 legislative session must adjourn by May 18.
Senator Scott Newman represents communities in McLeod, Meeker, Sibley, and Wright counties in the Minnesota Senate. He serves as chair of the Senate Transportation Finance and Policy Committee.