This blog post was in the Morning Hot Dish newsletter this morning. If you're not already getting Morning Hot Dish by email, it's easy to sign up. Go to StarTribune.com/membercenter, check the Politics newsletter box and save the change.
Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter said that people expecting a big surplus when the state releases its next economic forecast on Feb. 29 should rethink.
“It’s going to be zero or a negative number because we have so many debts to repay that it is very, very unlikely that we will have a surplus,” Schowalter said.
In December, the state reported a forecast of about $1 billion to the good. But that money is gone now.
“We put all that money in the reserves,” he said.
The good news? “We’ll have at least an economy that is kind of going on track,” he said.
Two new ways of looking at Gov. Mark Dayton's Wednesday State of the State address, from the Star Tribune's Morning Hot Dish email newsletter:
Minnesota, more, state, education
According to a visualization of Dayton’s 2012 State of the State address (left), he used the words “Minnesota,” “Minnesotans,” “more,” “education,” “work” and “jobs” frequently. (See larger version of visualization here .) In last year’s State of the State (right), he again repeatedly used the name of the state but also used the words “state,” “better,” “best,” “more” and “business” quite often. (See larger version here.)
After Wednesday’s State of the State address, your Hot Disher and others remarked on Twitter that the speech seemed short. Bob Hume, the governor’s deputy chief of staff, responded on Twitter: “To those press folks wondering about the length, I pose this question: why use 6,000 words when 3,179 will do just fine?” In any case, the 3,179-word speech was a few hundred words shorter than any gubernatorial State of the State address in the last 10 years. Dayton’s first State of the State speech was nearly 2,000 words longer, clocking in at 5,021 words. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s shortest such address was his last. That 2010 speech was 3,373 words. His longest was in 2007, weighing in at 4,614 words.
If you're not already getting Morning Hot Dish by email, it's easy to sign up. Go to StarTribune.com/membercenter, check the Politics newsletter box and save the change.
Meet Tommy Johnson, blogger and political critic ...and the winner of the #mnpredicts Republican Party straw poll results contest.
"It was a gut feeling all the way," said the independent DFLer. "I did no number crunching."
With 97 percent of the caucuses vote counted, Johnson came closest to guessing the actual results of Tuesday's vote out of 29 people who guessed the percentage of the votes for the four major Republican presidential candidates.
Since he was one of five people to correctly predict the order of candidates -- Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, then Newt Gingrich -- Hot Dish had to dig a little deeper to find the winner. We did that by figuring out how close Johnson and the four other people, Abou Amara, Ben Golnik, Aaron Klemz and Sean Neinow , who got the order right came to the percentage actual results. Johnson won that test and is the winner of the contest. (See the calculations here.)
As his reward, Johnson gets bragging rights, this recognition and a very happy feeling inside.
Minnesotans weighed in on their guesses for the winner of Tuesday night's Republican Party caucus vote over the last few days and the results are below.
The person who gets closest to the actual results will get bragging rights and a mention in the Star Tribune's Morning Hot Dish political newsletter. To sign up, go to StarTribune.com/membercenter, check the Politics newsletter box and save the change.