After a few bad budget reports in a row, an economic update says Minnesota's bank account was more flush than expected in February and March.
The update on tax dollars and other revenue says the state got $99 million more than anticipated in those two months, or about 4.5 percent above earlier projections. Income taxes paid by individuals accounted for half of the unexpected money. Corporate receipts were also stronger.
The quarterly reports only look at taxes and not spending, and they aren't used by legislators as they set the state budget. The April report says a recession currently affecting the economy should be "short and mild."Funding fight over lung cancer study
A fight is brewing over how to pay for studying a rare lung cancer that might be connected to mining taconite. The Minnesota House has voted 88 to 45 to spend nearly $5 million from a special workers' compensation fund, but Gov. Tim Pawlenty has warned he wants another funding source and will probably veto the bill if it's not changed.
Pawlenty suggests using taconite production taxes collected from the mining companies. He says tapping the workers' compensation fund will lead to higher assessments for businesses statewide.
House Majority Leader Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm, says the study should be a statewide responsibility because former miners live all over Minnesota. Mesothelioma is a rare lung cancer that has shown up disproportionately in mine workers.