Minnesota finance officials are projecting a positive balance of $1.6 billion in the state budget for the next biennium. The Minnesota Management Budget office says the surplus is due to a higher revenue forecast, lower state spending, and an increased surplus for the current fiscal year. In December the forecast looked grimmer with a projected shortfall of $1.3 billion for the coming two years. At that time, Governor Tim Walz had proposed tax hikes on the state’s highest earners–which Republicans oppose. In a statement, House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt says “raising taxes will slow our economic comeback, and make it harder to bring back jobs and paychecks to where they were before the pandemic.” Lawmakers must reach an agreement on an overall state budget of around $52 billion before June 30th.