Minnesota has projected $329 million budget surplus

- State officials project a state budget surplus of $329 million for the 2018-19 biennium, according to the February economic forecast released Wednesday. 

The projected budget surplus is up $353 million from November estimates. Minnesota Management and Budget says revenues in all tax types as well as a temporary stimulus from the federal tax law changes are responsible for the swing. 

Spending for the two-year period is projected to be $167 million lower than was predicted In November, in part due to the federal reauthorization of the appropriations for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, also known as CHIP. 

The projected $329 million surplus, however, is less than lawmakers were expecting. Debate at the Capitol will now focus on how much can be spent on federal tax conformity, infrastructure and school safety. 

On Tuesday, Gov. Mark Dayton suggested using some of the expected surplus for school safety priorities. At a press conference, he said he and legislative leaders discussed providing financial assistance to school districts to upgrade their security measures. 

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