School shift repaid thanks to

State Rep. Peter Fischer
District 43A

The Minnesota Management and Budget department has announced a projected budget surplus of $1.08 billion for the current biennium (fiscal years 2014-15).

The first $246 million of the surplus will be used to pay back the remaining school shift in full thanks to an accelerated repayment plan in the new state budget, leaving a balance of $825 million.

Repaying the school shift has been a top priority of mine since Day One. It’s a promise we made to Minnesotans and one we kept because this is a state that values education. And it’s another step towards regaining our status as a national leader in academic excellence.

The new budget forecast comes on the heels of a recent report from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development showing that the state’s unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent in October, the lowest it’s been since December 2007 and well below the national rate of 7.3 percent. Minnesota employers have added nearly 50,000 jobs over the past year, a growth rate of 1.8 percent compared to the national rate of 1.7 percent.

With the school shift paid back in full and additional investments in education like all-day kindergarten on the way in 2014, I’m very optimistic about our economic future.

We certainly have more work to do to create good jobs, but signs show that we’re heading in the right direction.

The next budget forecast will be released in February 2014. State lawmakers kick off the 2014 Legislative session on Feb. 25.

I encourage my constituents to contact him with any questions or feedback about the new budget forecast. I can be reached by phone at (651) 296-5363, by email at rep.peter.fischer@house.mn, or by postal mail at 421 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.

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