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State sets new economic forecast for Feb. 28

Posted by: Baird Helgeson under Minnesota governor, Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota legislature, State budgets Updated: February 3, 2014 - 3:08 PM

Minnesota state leaders will get the a new economic and budget snapshot at the end of the month, likely leaving legislators with a sizable budget surplus in the upcoming legislative session.

Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter said Monday that the February forecast will be released on Feb. 28.

The forecast will set the budget numbers that will guide much of the upcoming legislative session.

In December, state budget officials predicted a $876 million surplus for the remainder of the two-year budget cycle. Some state officials expect the projected surplus to be even higher by the time the new forecast is unveiled.

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and many Democratic lawmakers want to use part of the surplus for tax relief. Some are pressing to use a chunk of the money to bolster the state's budget reserves to better insulate state finances during economic downturns.

The budget fight is expected to be a centerpiece issue in the upcoming legislative session, the last regular session before the November election.

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