Just one year after having a $1.6 billion surplus, budget officials broke the news Tuesday morning that Minnesota is facing a deficit. It’s the first possible shortfall in at least four years, and Democratic legislators were quick to blame the Republican-led House and Senate for pushing to spend that surplus last session on a major tax cut. A Republican leader said years of spending increases under Democrats was the real problem, even suggesting the number doesn’t reflect the state’s economic situation.

The reality lies somewhere in between, with increased state spending and decreased tax revenue contributing to the shortfall. Minnesota’s budget is also inextricably tied to how the national economy is doing, not to mention what Congress may or may not do on a host of issues. Minn Post