General Economic News
Today the state economic forecast was released and it contains some good news. The state has a projected surplus of almost $1.1 billion. After the school property tax recognition shift is repaid, along with a loan from the state airport fund, $825 million remains on the bottom line. I’ve included some general fund information below that was taken from the Minnesota Management and Budget website located at www.mmb.state.mn.us.
Minnesota’s Budget Outlook Improves
Changes in forecast general fund revenue and expenditures for the current biennium have increased the projected balance for FY 2014-15 from $47 million to $1.086 billion. Forecast revenues have increased $787 million (2.0 percent), while projected spending is $247 million (0.6 percent) lower. A net reduction in general fund reserves added an additional $5 million to the bottom line. K-12 Shifts Completely Repaid, $825 Million Balance Remains. As in recent forecasts, current law requires any forecast balance be used to repay K- 12 shifts. The first $246 million of the balance will be used to complete repayment of the K-12 school property tax recognition shift. Additionally, $15 million is transferred to the state airports fund, restoring money originally borrowed in 2008. This forecast completes repayment of accounting shifts from prior budget solutions, reducing the forecast balance to $825 million.
It’s human nature. We want what we don’t have. It’s a condition that often follows us through life.
To get what we perceive we don’t have – or didn’t have during childhood – sometimes, as adults, we overcompensate. When she was a girl, my mom had only one doll. As an adult, she collected dolls to the point of near hoarding. Some people fill their china cabinets with china. My mom filled hers with Baby Tender Love, Thumbelina and Swingy.
Other people overcompensate with an overabundance of shoes, cats, comic books, PEZ dispensers, sports memorabilia or anything else one can purchase on eBay. For me, it’s all about pillows.
It’s no accident that holidays featuring lights are celebrated in December. This month Venus and Jupiter – and possibly one comet – crank up the wattage for us.
In early December, Venus shines as bright as it ever gets. Hanging like a lantern over the sunset horizon, our brilliant sister planet begins the month as a thick crescent, its face about 30 percent lit. By the end of the month, the crescent has lengthened considerably and thinned to a mere
5 percent of the planet’s disk. These changes happen because Venus is circling in for its next pass in front of the sun; soon it will drop from the evening sky.
American Education Week
We recently observed American Education Week Nov. 18-22. This special week provides us the opportunity to recognize the accomplishments and service of the public schools and all its educators. The EV-W faculty and staff met for breakfast Wednesday,
Nov. 20, and recognized the following paraprofessionals, teachers, clerical staff, board members, and maintenance staff for their dedication and years of service to the district:
• Educational Excellence: Judy Blonigen, Adam Teicher, Lori Unterberger;
• Leadership in Education: Karen Svhihel-Buermann, Becky Kuechle;
As chief dietary consultant and food preparation specialist in my domicile, I am responsible for the procurement of foodstuffs and other assorted provisions to ensure continuous familial sustenance within our humble abode.
In other words, I do the grocery shopping.
I’ve been at my post for decades, rising from the ranks of grocery greenhorn to that of food aficionado. They don’t give PhDs for grocery-shopping proficiency, but if they did, I’d practically have my bachelor’s degree.