Friday will provide first look at Minnesota budget

It’s time to start talking cash at the Minnesota Capitol.

Budget officials were preparing to release the state’s economic forecast Friday. It provides a critical look at Minnesota’s financial standing that will determine whether a Republican-controlled Legislature will have a budget surplus or deficit to work with in 2017.

That number will set the stage for negotiations for a two-year budget between Republican and Democratic Governor Mark Dayton, but budget work wont’ begin in earnest until after state officials release a final update in February.

Dayton says he’s expected a smaller surplus than the $1.2 billion sum they had in 2016. Republican Rep. Jim Knoblach says he is also expecting a surplus.

The legislature will convene January 3.