Unexpected $876 Million State Surplus Comes With Caution
The state of Minnesota got unexpected news withe this $876 million state surplus. However it looks like all Minnesota residents won't be receiving a check anytime soon.
Although they predict the state will end the two-year budget cycle with a surplus, the state's economic gurus are not dancing in the streets.
Still, the $876 million forecast surplus was unexpected.
"Surprise," said state finance commissioner Jim Schowalter. He said after years of bad news, it sometimes feels like the news will always be bad. "Certainly, it's a good day," he said.
The entire surplus, the state economic gurus said, is legally obligated to be used for refilling the state's depleted cash flow account, sort of like a state checking account, and its budget reserve, which is like the state's savings account. Current law, which could always been changed, allocates $255 million to the cash flow account and $621 million to the budget reserve.
Schowalter said in 2011 revenues ran better than anticipated and "that was enough" to counteract the slowing growth in the state and nation. Spending in health care in 2010 through 2013 was also lower, or predicted to be lower than anticipated.