MN Rural Broadband Coalition Update: State Budget Forecast Shows Surplus

The MN Broadband Coalition puts perspective on the State surplus recently announced by Governor Walz

State Economist Forecasts $7.7 billion Surplus for Next Two Years
Minnesota Management and Budget published its November Revenue Forecast and projected the state will have a $7.7 billion surplus for the next two-year budget cycle. This is a massive sum and one of the largest in recent memory. The state agency does deep-dive reviews of projected finances in February and November. These figures are a primary guider of legislative work.
Gov. Tim Walz said of the forecast, “It’s crystal clear: our economy is strong and growing.” The governor also said the surplus allows the Legislature to spend more on things like paid family leave, energy assistance, and early childhood education.
State Senator Julie Rosen (R-Fairmont), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, called the $7.7 billion figure “staggering” and suggested the state would be better served if Minnesotans received tax relief rather than additional government spending.
Legislators will return to work at the Capitol on January 31. Since they passed a budget last session, this year will be focused on the state’s borrowing bill known as the bonding bill. However, a massive influx of funding from the federal government through the infrastructure bill and other pandemic-related spending bills means there is significant work to accomplish.
The Coalition’s top priorities this year will be securing grant funds for the upcoming construction season (avoiding a delay of federal dollars coming to the state), ensuring the full $180 million from the Capital Projects Fund comes to Minnesota and is spent on broadband, and protecting the integrity of the state’s grant program.

Next Coalition Meeting: 
Please join us on December 15 at 9:00 a.m. for a full Coalition meeting.
Agenda and documents are forthcoming.

This entry was posted in Funding, MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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