ST. PAUL -- As expected Minnesota's economy has taken a big hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

The state released it's updated budget projections, which shows a deficit of over $2.4 billion for this biennium, which is almost a $4-billion change to what was forecasted back in February.

Revenues are expected to be roughly $3.6-billion lower. And spending, including appropriations enacted since February, are expected to be about $391-million higher.

Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans says given this pandemic it may be time to dip into the state's budget reserves.

Now is the time to use some of our $2.3-billion rainy day fund to help Minnesota weather this severe economic downturn and give policy makers time to consider options to maintain critical services and support growing needs in the face in declining revenues.

Frans says lawmakers need to be cautious and focused when it comes to rebalancing the budget and to not only rely on the reserve funds to help close the gaps the state is facing.

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