Minn. lawmakers learn if deficit deepens, shrinks 28 Feb 13

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Now the real Minnesota budget debate can commence.

State lawmakers learn Thursday how much of a problem they’ll need to solve when crafting the next two-year budget. Finance officials release an updated economic forecast that is likely to revise the projected budget deficit that must be addressed.

The last forecast, released in December, showed a $1.1 billion deficit. That’s the one Gov. Mark Dayton used to build his budget. He will release a supplemental budget sometime in March to account for the changed projection.

Minnesota legislators have hesitated from plunging too deeply into the budget process until receiving the new economic report. They have until mid-May to complete their work.