Twice a year for more than a decade, Minnesota’s finance gurus set a date to brief the governor, lawmakers and reporters on the biannual budget forecast.

And twice a year for more than a decade, reporters have wheedled the forecast number out of officials hours before they are supposed to know the number.

No more.

Starting with Wednesday’s forecast, state financial officials will release the number to the media as they are briefing lawmakers. They’ll make the number public, with some context, so the initial reports will be more complete and reporters (and their lawmaker sources) won’t have to scramble.

John Pollard, spokesman for Minnesota Management and Budget, said financial officials realized: “The current system just needs to be updated. We’ve been doing the same thing for the last ten or 15 years and things changed…The fact of the matter is news moves faster than it did.”


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