ST. PAUL, Minn. - Let the "real" Minnesota budget debate begin.
State lawmakers learn Thursday how much of a problem they'll need to solve when crafting the next two-year budget when state finance officials release an updated economic forecast.
The new numbers are expected to revise the projected budget deficit numbers that must be addressed.
The most recent forecast, released in December, showed a $1.1 billion deficit. That's the one Gov. Mark Dayton used to build the budget plan being discussed at the capitol. Dayton will release a supplemental budget sometime in March to account for the changed projection.
Minnesota legislators have hesitated from plunging too deeply into the budget process until receiving the new economic report.
They have until mid-May to complete their work barring a special session.
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