Minnesota's budget surplus stable at $17.5 billion

Minnesota's budget surplus was stable at a projected $17.5 billion, according to the latest numbers released on Monday. 

This projection includes more than $12 billion left over from the current two-year budget cycle because the state Legislature failed to agree on a grand bargain to spend much of it in 2022. 

Monday's budget projection comes after the state's budget surplus hit a record $17.6 billion in December's projected budget. At that time, budget officials said higher-than-expected tax receipts and lower-than-anticipated spending contributed to the glut of money.

It's worth noting the February budget forecast figures inflation into the calculations, so while the budget surplus is largely unchanged from the December forecast, it means revenue kept growing. 

Budget officials will release additional budget materials at 11:30 a.m. Monday and plan to hold a news conference at 11:45 a.m. 

Last spring, the divided Legislature failed to pass an $8 billion tax cut and spending deal, leaving that money sitting in the state's coffers and continuing to grow as interest rates increased. At the time, both parties gambled that voters would give them more control. Democrats won the bet; voters gave them the House and Senate while re-electing Walz in November.

Walz in December highlighted four priorities for spending in 2023: an expansion of child care, inflation relief for Minnesotans, increased road and bridge funding, and more money for public schools. The governor said he would again propose rebate checks of $1,000 per adult and $2,000 per family. Smaller versions of the checks failed to pass the Republican-led Senate or DFL-controlled House in 2022. House Speaker Melissa Hortman later endorsed rebate checks after the session ended.