State Economist Tom Stinson reported this week about Minnesota’s economy and the current budget deficit. According to Stinson, Minnesota is facing the longest and deepest economic recession since 1942. Having already lost 30,000 jobs over the last twelve months, Stinson predicts Minnesota will lose an additional 77,000 jobs by this time next year.
The international economic crisis has taken a direct toll on Minnesota’s state budget. The state’s leading economists have estimated a $5.2 billion shortfall that must be resolved in the upcoming legislative session.
Stinson stressed this is not a spending problem but a revenue problem brought on by lower income receipts from sales, corporate, and other state revenue sources. Significant spending cuts will have to be made to resolve what experts are now calling the largest budget deficit in Minnesota history.
To resolve the deficit responsibly in the coming weeks and months, we as legislatures must take a comprehensive look at the budget and prioritize government spending from the ground up. We hope to fundamentally rethink the way state government operates and take swift, strategic action to rebuild our lagging economy.
Throughout the coming legislative session I encourage you to contact me with your input as we work to resolve the budget deficit and put our economy back on track. The challenges ahead will not be solved overnight. We are facing some difficult days ahead. But by working together with bipartisan resolve, Minnesotans can emerge from this recession stronger than ever before.