The staff at the Minnesota Budget Project has been quite busy this week, which is why our blog has been a little quiet. But don’t worry, plenty of information is on the way…
…Starting with us releasing our analysis of the Governor’s budget proposal. Round One: Governor’s Initial Budget Proposal Focuses on Spending Cuts and One-time Measureshighlights the major components of the Governor’s budget and provides a deeper look at the proposed spending reductions. It includes many of the proposals we’ve been blogging on…plus more! Read it, become an expert and impress (or annoy) your friends at cocktail parties.
But remember, things are going to change significantly starting next Tuesday (March 3). That’s when Minnesota Management and Budget will be releasing the state’s February Forecast. We expect to find out that we have a new deficit for the FY 2008-09 biennium (the Governor closed the initial $426 million deficit through unallotment). And, as I’m sure you’ve heard, the deficit for the FY 2010-11 biennium is expected to grow from $4.8 billion to $6 billion (or more). But all this is speculation until we learn the facts next Tuesday.
The Governor will be releasing a supplemental budget later in March. In this 2nd round, he will need to adjust his initial budget proposal to respond to the new deficit figures and incorporate the impact of the federal stimulus bill. Under these unusual circumstances, it will nearly be like starting from scratch.
And we have some advice for the Governor and legislature as they try to address the budget gap. First, I have an op-ed in the St. Paul Pioneer Press today (Make the numbers add up to a future that works) outlining a few ideas for how we can design a budget that kick-starts our state economy, builds a workforce ready for the future and keeps our families strong through the recession. A key part of that – raising revenues! So be sure to check out our recent piece on revenue raising options.