State budget forecasters say Minnesota will have an $876 million surplus at the end of the year. That’s a welcome change from the multi-billion dollar deficit that greeted Governor Mark Dayton after he took over from departing Governor Tim Pawlenty.
But despite the good news, the states finances are a bit gloomy because the economy is expected to get worse through 2013.
DFL Chair Ken Martan says there is still really a deficit because the state has borrowed money from school districts.
“The economic forecast that was released today does not reflect the irresponsible borrow and spend tactics that the Republicans have used to balance our state’s budget. In spite of the surplus, Minnesota still has a $1.4 billion debt to our children and schools because the Republicans decided it was easier to take money from education rather than raise taxes on the rich. Middle class families are shouldering higher property taxes because the Republicans refused to make millionaires pay their fair share. Last summer’s state shutdown was completely due to the Republicans refusal to give an inch on taxes, a move which cost the state $60 million. The Republican budget strategies rely on one-time borrow and shift methods that have maxed out our state’s credit card; their celebration of today’s budget news is misguided.”