A surprise for all–Minnesota appears to have a $876 million budget surplus. Santa came early and now the talk at the state capitol will be over how to spend the money. Here is my short list on some good and not so good ideas.
My suggestions are in descending order from good to bad ideas. Expect debate in MN to focus more on the bad as opposed to the good ideas.
- Do nothing. The surplus is illusionary and may vanish or change dramatically before the next fiscal forecast by the end of February, 2012.
- Save it. Bring up the state’s rainy day fund.
- Save it for the deficit in 2013-14 budget.
- Use the money to pay off the interest and borrowing off of the tobacco endowment.
- Repay the money borrowed from K-12.
- Restore the cuts to the homestead tax credit.
- Restore local government aid funding.
- Restore health and human services cuts.
- Tax cuts for businesses and wealthy to create jobs.
- Money for the Vikings stadium.
Bonus suggestion: Provide a down payment on Zygi Wilf's next townhouse.