As of this morning, the State Patrol is reporting 410 crashes statewide over the last 24 hours–one of them fatal. 36 injuries have been reported and there have been 515 vehicle spinouts have been reported so far.
That sudden change in weather overnight brought light accumulations of snow over the state except for up near the Canadian border in northwestern Minnesota. The National Weather Service reports 11 inches fell in a small portion of Lake of the Woods County, around Roosevelt and Warroad.
Minnesota is back in budget deficit territory, according to the latest economic forecast just released. The state budget is projected to be in the red to the tune of 188 million dollars for the current two-year cycle, plus a forecast 586-million-dollar deficit for 2020 and 2021. This negative turn follows a string of budget surpluses as the state and the nation recovered from the Great Recession. Governor Mark Dayton this forecast is “speculative at best” because of uncertainty in Washington D-C about the tax bill and health care. The governor says he’s not going to rely on this current forecast for any final decisions and awaits the next update in late February or early March. By that time, the legislature will be back in session.
The date is now set for two special elections in Minnesota. Governor Dayton has announced voters can head to the polls on February 12th to fill vacancies left after the resignations of Democratic Senator Dan Shoen of St. Paul Park…and Republican Representative Tony Cornish of Vernon Center. Both resigned after being accused of sexual harassment.