At Issue: December 4 - State Budget Surplus, U.S. Bank Stadium Suite Investigation, Mayor Chris Coleman in Studio

December 04, 2016 03:14 PM

State Releases Budget Forecast; $1.4 Billion Surplus Announced

A special session of the legislature is now a possibility sometime in December with renewed interest sparked by a positive budget forecast. The Minnesota Office of Management and Budget projected a $1.4 billion surplus for the 2017-18 biennium. That amount could be enough to pass tax, bonding and health care legislation in a special session and leave some surplus for the regular session, which begins in January.


MMB Commissioner Myron Frans says the surplus was the result of consistent sound fiscal management of the state's budget. Frans called it "boring this case, boring is good."

Governor Dayton cautioned against spending the surplus all at one time. He said the budget does not factor in the possibility of a recession or other serious economic factors. 

The governor and lawmakers met Friday afternoon to discuss a possible special session around December 20. They'll meet again next week to make a final decision. 

Legislative Auditor Investigates Use of U.S. Bank Stadium Suites by MSFA Members

Legislative auditor Jim Nobles has opened an investigation into how two luxury suites at U.S. Bank Stadium are used by members of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA). The authority says it uses the suites primarily for "marketing purposes", but newspaper reports surfaced that some of the people who've attended events and Vikings games for free in the suites include family members and friends of MSFA members. 

Several Republican lawmakers have expressed outrage over this news and are demanding the MSFA release the names of people who've attended games or other events in the suites. The MSFA says it believes it is prohibited, by law, from releasing those names.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman in Studio; Reflects on Time in Office, Political Future

This week, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman announced he will not seek a fourth term in office. This is fueling speculation that Coleman is eyeing a possible run for Governor in 2018. Coleman sat down with Tom Hauser to reflect on the accomplishments and challenges he's faced during his nearly 12 years in office, along with what the future holds for his political career. 


Amanda Theisen

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