Minnesota Budget Surplus Continues, Minnesota State Flag, and More

Minnesota Budget Surplus Continues
The Department of Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) announced that the state’s budget surplus is estimated to exceed initial projections made earlier this year by nearly 50 percent, resulting in a fiscal year-end surplus of over $2.4 billion ($820 million over the initial $1.6 billion estimate). This remarkable development follows the MMB’s quarterly update, which disclosed that tax collections had outperformed projections by $400 million. The surplus is primarily attributed to strong tax collections of Individual income and corporate franchise taxes, with slightly reduced projected spending. The exact size of the surplus will not be determined until February or March, but it will carry over into the next budget cycle.

This surplus builds on the trend of increased funds for Minnesota. The historic $17.5 billion surplus for the 2023-2024 biennium was largely allocated during the 2023 legislative session’s budget-setting process. With the additional funds, lawmakers are anticipated to take up a supplemental budget bill and a capital investment (bonding) bill in 2024.
Minnesota State Flag
The deadline for design submissions to replace the current State flag and seal is October 30. Minnesotans have submitted more than 775 entries after a call for public submissions by the State Emblems Redesign Commission.

The commission consists of historians, marketing experts, civic leaders, and was formed to redesign the current flag which has been criticized for being culturally insensitive as well as aesthetically unappealing. The North American Vexillological Association (the world’s largest association of flag experts) ranks Minnesota as one of the worst state flags.

The commission will choose five finalists in November, manufacturing their flag and seal designs for a “tactile assessment.” Applicants must be at least 18 years old, and their original designs must meet state requirements. The winning designers are not eligible for a cash prize if their design is chosen. The emblems will be selected in mid-December and will come into effect next year unless vetoed by the Legislature.
Special Election Update
A special election is scheduled for Dec. 5 to fill House District 52B following Representative Ruth Richardson’s resignation on Sept. 1. The open seat covers a southeastern portion of the Twin Cities, including Mendota Heights and parts of Eagan.

Six candidates have filed for the Nov. 16 primary:
  • Chris Whitfield (DFL)
  • Jay Miller (DFL)
  • Bianca Virnig (DFL)
  • Cynthia Callais (DFL)
  • Cynthia Longquist (R)
  • Charles Kuchlenz (Libertarian)


Interim Legislative Work
Though the legislature is not yet in session, a number of legislative commissions, task forces and working groups have been meeting throughout the interim. These groups meet much less frequently than legislative committees during session, and usually focus on specific topics or issues. The membership of these groups is also not limited to one legislative body, and often includes other public officials and experts.

Link to upcoming meetings