A bill that would factor inflation into state budget forecasts — in other words, how much more money state programs are expected to cost — awaits a vote in the full Minnesota  House after clearing a key committee today (Mon).  Opponents warn it will put the state budget on autopilot.  Farmington Representative Pat Garofalo:

“If you’re somebody who wants to assume that you might put your thumb on the scale to have government spend more money or make more investments or grow more, then you should vote in favor of Representative Stephenson’s bill.”

Coon Rapids Democrat Zack Stephenson argues including inflation in spending projections will give lawmakers a better idea of where the budget stands:

“This does not appropriate any money, and scrutiny can and should be placed by the legislature on every single appropriation — and this bill doesn’t change that.  It’s just making sure we start with information that is honest and accurate.”

Stephenson says if inflation would have been included in the latest forecast, the budget surplus would have been nearly five billion dollars less over the next four years.