Minnesota Projects $1.1 Billion Budget Deficit

Originally posted on CBS Minnesota:

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and lawmakers will have to eliminate a $1.1 billion state budget deficit when the session convenes in January, a smaller shortfall than in recent years, as Democrats prepare to take over the Legislature.

Minnesota Management and Budget released the updated forecast Wednesday. While officials called it good news and representative of a slowly improving economy, the forecast came with a large asterisk: The state’s economic fortunes could quickly plummet again unless Congress and President Barack Obama can resolve federal debt negotiations and avoid going over the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

Related: Officials: Fiscal Cliff Would Harm Minn. Economy

“We are making slow progress gaining jobs and economic momentum,” said Jim Schowalter, director of Minnesota Management and Budget. “But the trouble is it’s wrapped in a cloud of uncertainty due to the federal fiscal cliff.”

The fiscal cliff…

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