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Minnesota to release its two-year budget forecast this morning

ST. PAUL -- The wraps are about to come off a top-secret report that lays the groundwork on what likely will be a $40-billion, two-year Minnesota state budget.

ST. PAUL - The wraps are about to come off a top-secret report that lays the groundwork on what likely will be a $40-billion, two-year Minnesota state budget.
What is called the state “budget forecast” will be unveiled to the public at 11 a.m. today in the state Capitol, a couple of hours after a short summary of it is to be distributed to reporters and key state officials are told what to expect. The forecast predicts state revenue for the next two years, which Gov. Mark Dayton and the state’s 201 legislators will use to draw up a plan about how to fund programs ranging from health care to construction.
Most observers expect a budget surplus, which would be a relief to state officials who just four years ago faced a $6 billion deficit. Until some state leaders are briefed about the revenue report before the public event, only a few people know if it will show a deficit or surplus, and how much.
Dayton this week said his newest best guess is a $900 million surplus, but even he had not been told the amount.
“We’re seeing good job growth, and the economy is back on track, but it’s just not as robust as everyone would like,” Commissioner Jim Schowalter of Minnesota Management and Budget said last week, before a “cone of silence” was placed over people who are writing the forecast.

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