At Issue: March 4 – State Budget Surplus; Gun Control Bills Stall in House

March 04, 2018 05:33 PM

State Budget Forecast

Minnesota budget officials say lawmakers will have a $329 surplus with which to work in the upcoming biennium.


However, Republican lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton are split on how to handle it.

DFL leaders urge caution while Republicans are expressing optimism.

RELATED: State Budget Officials Project $329M Surplus

In this week's "Political Insider," Brian McClung, communications director for former governor Tim Pawlenty, says Democrats are generally cautious about the money when it's projected, but at the end of the legislative session seem to want to spend every penny.

Some lawmakers want to use the surplus to bring Minnesota's tax law in line with new federal guidelines.

Dayton also plans to adjust his budget proposal following news of the surplus. That update is expected later this month.


Gun Bills Stall in House

This week, two gun control bills were sidelined by a House Committee.

One bill would have expanded background checks. The other would have given law enforcement and families a way to stop people from possessing a gun for a fixed period of time if they pose a significant danger to themselves and others.

RELATED: State Democrats Vow to Keep Pushing Gun Law Changes

DFL strategist Sarah Walker said even though the bills have been tabled, they aren't dead yet.

Republican strategist Andy Brehm said at the end of the day the best kind of violence prevention we have is law enforcement and families being aware of what's going on.

These were the first gun control bills to come up for debate this session in the Minnesota House.


Marissa Cusumano

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