On Feb.28, the Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) office released its annual February budget forecast. The forecast, which is used to guide the process of assembling the state’s upcoming two-year budget, shows a budget surplus of nearly $1 billion – down from the $1.5 billion budget surplus projected in November.

In response, District 16 Senator Gary Dahms of Redwood Falls issued the following statement:

 “Today’s budget forecast shows the state is in good fiscal shape, but it also means the state has collected too much revenue. As we work over the next several months to craft a responsible two-year state budget, the latest budget surplus projection shows we can do it while spending within our current means. Governor Walz’s budget proposal includes over $3 billion in tax increases which I do not believe are necessary in a time of surplus.

 “However, the budget forecast also underscores the need to contain government spending. Over the next several weeks, my colleagues and I will continue putting together a responsible budget proposal that funds the needs of Minnesotans without raising taxes. The legislature will have a robust and vibrant conversation about how to find common ground and move forward with a productive conversation on how to best meet the needs of all Minnesotans.

“I look forward to working with Governor Walz, the House and my colleagues in the Senate to pass a bipartisan budget that truly meets the needs of Minnesotans across the state.”

– Senator Gary Dahms of Redwood Falls represents District 16 including Brown, Lac qui Parle, Lyon, Redwood, Renville and Yellow Medicine counties in the Minnesota Senate. He serves as chair of the Senate commerce and consumer protection finance and policy committee and is an assistant majority leader.