Miller preparing for his last legislative session

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By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
While District 17A Rep. Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, has announced he is not running for re-election in November, he will still play a role in 2022 legislative session that begins Jan. 31.
Miller’s district includes all of Swift and Chippewa counties, most of Renville County, and the four southwestern Kandiyohi County townships of Edwards, Holland, Roseland, and Lake Lillian.
When the Minnesota Legislature convenes the elephant in the room for state lawmakers will be the size of the state budget surplus and what to do with it.
Minnesota is looking at a record $7.7 billion surplus for the current two-year budget. That is based on expected revenues against what the approved expenditures are in the budget. Last week, the size of the surplus increased by another $362 million.
However, some economists are urging caution saying the projected surplus is overly optimistic. However, nearly half the expected surplus is already in the state’s treasury while the other half is projected to be earned in the coming 18 months.
The unexpected and record surplus has been generated by the billions of dollars in federal funds that have flowed into Minnesota in the form of extended unemployment benefits and through the Paycheck Protection Program that allowed employers to retain employees and pay them with federal assistance. There was financial help with child care subsidies and the child tax credit to families. There was assistance for state Medicaid expenses.
All that federal COVID-19 financial support found its way into the state’s economy and was taxed, raising far more in revenues than expected.
The Minnesota Management and Budget office projects “that the state will remain in surplus for the next four years. Requiring out-years to be in balance is another way Minnesota keeps a check on unsustainable budgets,” MinnPost reported.
 

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