Minnesota budget surplus grows to $1.65 billion

The state budget office released the latest budget outlook Tuesday morning, and Minnesota's budget surplus now stands at $1.65 billion. Minnesota lawmakers now know how much money they have to work with get ready to prioritize the state budget for the next two years. 

Increased revenue projections were partially offset by increased spending estimates in the latest forecast. The current 2-year budget is now projected to end with a balance of $743 million. General fund revenue continues to grow, and as a result, a $1.65 billion balance is projected to be available for the upcoming 2-year budget.

Last month, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton unveiled his nearly $46 billion budget. Among his spending priorities, Dayton is asking for $75 million to be set aside to expand a new preschool program. Republicans, who control the Legislature, want to use the budget surplus to lower spending and cut taxes.

The governor has already signed a bill to make more than $300 million available for health insurance rebates. That money will help offset the spike in premiums for certain Minnesotans.

Lawmakers need to agree on a two year budget before the legislative session ends in May.