The state budget office released an update forecast Thursday that completely repays the K-12 education funding shift from a $1 billion projected surplus.
Schools will receive $246 million in aid payments that had been deferred during past budget deficits. $15 million will also be transferred to the state airports fund, paying back a loan from 2008.
This budget forecast repays all accounting shifts from prior budgets, reducing the forecast surplus to $825 million.
PROJECTED BUDGET BALANCE WORKSHEET
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Gov. Mark Dayton wants to use the funds to repeal three sales tax increases, and says he won't propose any new spending until the next budget forecast in February.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
"Critics claimed that this balanced fiscal approach would have "a chilling effect on Minnesota's economy." Today's Forecast proves those critics wrong. If fact, it will be amusing to watch some of the people, who were criticizing Minnesota's economy yesterday, claiming credit for it today!" - Gov. Mark Dayton
"Today, we can tell the people of Minnesota that after years and years, and billions in borrowing, we have finally paid the bill we owe our schools - in full. Paying back our schools is a victory for Minnesota kids – and for our future." - House Speaker Paul Thissen
"While some politicians are busy patting themselves on the back for a surplus, let's remember government's goal should not be to take in the most money possible, but to spend the money they have more efficiently and effectively. It's time to return accountability and common sense to state government." – Kurt Zellers, former House Speaker and current Republican candidate for governor
"At times over the last several years I've felt like a broken record talking about how we need to pay back our schools. So hearing that we are able to finally make good on the debt we owe our kids is music to my ears. This is great news for Minnesota kids, parents, educators, and the future of our world class education system here in Minnesota." - Senate Majority Leader Erin Murphy
"Republicans forecasted gloom and doom under a state budget with fairer taxes and investments in education, but the forecast that really matters showed good news for Minnesota: With a projected budget surplus of $1.08 billion, the state is leading the nation in recovering from the Great Recession." – Ken Martin, Minnesota DFL chairman