The Minnesota Management and Budget office recently released the State of Minnesota November budget forecast, showing a $1.4 billion projected surplus available for the fiscal year 2018-19. The following statement was delivered by Governor Mark Dayton:
 “To put this report in context, six years ago, at the November forecast with which I took office, the projection was for a $6.2 billion deficit in the next biennium.
“We owed $2 billion to the schools, and there were numerous other shifts and gimmicks woven into the budget. Now, we have a projection of a $1.4 billion surplus for the next biennium, we owe nothing to the schools, $1.9 billion is parked in the budget reserve fund and it’s just a remarkable change from chronic deficits to a secure budget, fiscal integrity for the state, honest budgeting and the like.
“What this forecast says to me is that we’re in a time of continued economic insecurity, and these projections occurred before the election. And nobody knows what those impacts are going to be. We’ll have a better idea at the forecast at the end of February. To me, it means that we need to be cautious and prudent, and recognize that our economic growth is constrained by the national economic growth – the forecast here is for continued growth, but to a lesser level than previously forecasted – and also, the ceiling in our labor force, which is really impacting businesses who want to expand, and there are just not the workers available to do so.
“So those are going to be our constraints under, really, the best of reasonable circumstances. This does not factor in the possibility of a recession; it does not factor in the possibility of some other serious economic dislocation. We obviously have both in our steel industry and in our agriculture industry.
Those sectors of our economy in Minnesota, we need to do whatever we can, but frankly, the federal government is really going to be the impetus for the kind of recovery necessary in those two sectors.
“So, the things we can and will do within the state level, but we’re also going to need some cooperative action from Washington.”