Skip to main content

Minnesota's budget surplus has increased even more.

Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) on Monday released an updated budget forecast that shows the General Fund surplus is now up to $9.253 billion for the current biennium, up from a projected $7.7 billion in November 2021

"A higher income, consumer spending, and corporate profit forecast results in an improved revenue projection while spending is slightly lower in E-12 education and Health and Human Services," according to MMB

However, MMB said there is uncertainty due to inflation and the geopolitical conflict in Ukraine that pose a risk to the budget and economic outlook. This latest projection was mostly compiled before Russia invaded Ukraine.

This record-setting budget forecast is what lawmakers at the state Capitol will use over the next few months to make decisions on spending. Over the past several weeks, Democrats and Republicans have revealed their ideas for how to spend the surplus. 

In response to Monday's news, Gov. Tim Walz on Monday said with news of the higher surplus, he would like to see the Minnesota Legislature triple his proposed direct payment checks he previously proposed, so single Minnesotans would get $500 and married couples would get $1,000, and said he'd like to see Minnesotans get the checks before this summer.

The Democratic governor has proposed the aforementioned "Walz checks" as a way to get money directly to Minnesotans. He and fellow DFLers have proposed spending much of the budget surplus on social programs, such as new spending on paid family and medical leave programs, child care support, and money for frontline workers, among other programs that support workers and families. 

Republicans, meanwhile, are calling for permanent tax relief for Minnesotans, saying they are over-taxed.

"Minnesota's record-setting surplus gives us more than enough resources for permanent and meaningful tax relief for Minnesotans — including an end to the social security tax and replenishing the unemployment trust fund," House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said in a statement Monday.

"There's never been a better time to give Minnesotans their money back as they struggle with record inflation, soaring energy bills, and rising gas prices."

The state figures released Monday found that average Minnesota household income increased by 8.4% in 2021, far outstripping the pace of inflation, which averaged 4.7% in 2021.

Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, said Monday the increased surplus strengthens Republicans' argument for tax cuts for all Minnesotans, calling the $9.25 billion surplus "mind-boggling." 

Walz said he's open to cutting income tax rates but he wants the highest-earning Minnesotans excluded from tax cuts. 

Other lawmakers are urging caution, including saving some of the money in the surplus for the future when the economic outlook isn't so rosy.

“We have to be very cautious and very prudent with the surplus and I have no problem saving a lot of it if I had my way,” said Senate Minority Leader Melisa Lopez Franzen, DFL-Edina, according to MPR News. “But we certainly have a lot of different strains and different proposals being put up by different groups. And we want to make sure that we take care of Minnesotans first and make sure that we're ready for that next rainy day.”

Minnesota lawmakers also have $1.1 billion in federal COVID relief money to figure out how to spend. 

Next Up

police tape

Charges: Man killed brother, left body in homemade camper for 7 months

James Robert Hess, 48, faces second-degree murder charges for the death of his 52-year-old brother, William Harold Hess Jr.

storm

Minnesota forecast: Hot, humid and severe storm chances

Bring Me The News meteorologist Sven Sundgaard says right now the best chance for storms looks like Sunday/Sunday night.

Thai Cultural Council of Minnesota

Minnesota's biggest Thai festival to be hosted in front of State Capitol

The Thai New Year, or Songkran, is one of the most celebrated holidays in Thailand.

police tape, crime scene

Man dies after being shot in the head in St. Cloud

Investigators believe the suspects fled the scene in a vehicle.

USATSI_18349907

Uvalde school massacre: MN Democrats call for action, Republicans prayers

The tragedy in Texas has sparked different reactions from Minnesota's congressional delegation.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

St. Cloud man fires shot at police in hours-long standoff, surrenders

Shawn Lawrence Jacobs, 37, was arrested just before 4 p.m. Tuesday after he surrendered.

New baby zebra at the Como Zoo.

St. Paul's Como Zoo welcomes new baby zebra

The baby is yet to be named, and the zoo is planning an event for visitors to help with the decision.

Screen Shot 2022-05-25 at 11.06.51 AM

Pilfered peony plant prompts police probe

The peony, named Patrick, was taken from Wayzata City Hall gardens.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, May 25

The latest update from the state health department.

280709010_460996515827958_860845154539781131_n

Beloved small town MN baseball field destroyed by severe storm

The mid-May storm system blasted the area with 90+ mph winds.

Related

State Capitol.

Walz eyes COVID-19 relief package totaling $300-$600 million amid budget surplus

The state forecasted a budget surplus for the remainder of the biennium.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz, DFL, GOP reach agreement on state surplus spending

The framework deal includes spending on education, health care, human services and public safety, as well as tax cuts.

Walz, Flanagan

Walz proposes legalizing marijuana in massive supplemental budget

It's among the provisions in his "Budget to Move Minnesota Forward."

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Walz unveils his $518M bonding proposal

Walz calls it his "Local Jobs and Projects Plan."

gov tim walz

Walz's $2.7B infrastructure plan includes $940M for climate projects

Projects will help Minnesota prevent or adapt to climate change and mitigate its impacts, the governor says.

State Capitol.

DFLers demand more police reform, GOP says it'll hold hearings on proposals

Democrats have been calling for change since Daunte Wright's death, and now Republicans say they'll hold hearings on bills but haven't made promises it'll lead to anything getting passed.

Tim Walz

Walz's $52.4 billion budget increases school spending, raises taxes on wealthy

He says the budget will help level the playing field and ensure all Minnesotans have a fair shot at economic recovery,

State Capitol.

Minnesota's budget outlook improves, now projecting $1.6B surplus

The state was projecting a $1.3 billion deficit in November.