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Minnesota's economic outlook has 'significantly worsened,' projected $2.43 billion budget deficit

In February, the forecast projected a $1.5 million surplus.

Minnesota's economic outlook and budget has "significantly worsened" due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) said Tuesday. 

MMB released an updated budget projection for fiscal years 2020 and 2021, projecting a deficit of $2.426 billion – nearly a $4 billion change compared to the February forecast, which projected a $1.5 billion surplus.

Revenues are expected to be $3.611 billion lower and spending is expected to be $391 million higher. MMB says the $2.359 billion budget reserve is available to mitigate the impact of the crisis on the budget. 

"Given the uncertainty about the path of pandemic, the economic outlook will remain volatile for some time," MMB said in a news release.

MMB Commissioner Myron Frans, State Economist Dr. Laura Kalambokidis and State Budget Director Britta Reitan are presenting the updated budget projection at 2 p.m. Gov. Tim Walz will also join the presentation. It can be watched live on YouTube here.

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Budget projections for upcoming bienniums typically happen in November and February, but state revenues have been severely hampered by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Meanwhile spending to support state residents during social distancing efforts has increased, such as the Minnesota Legislature passing a series of spending measures that included a $200 million funding package to support the state's healthcare system.

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