The State Legislature hasn't made a firm decision as to what may happen with the 17-plus Billion dollar state budget surplus.  St. Cloud State Economist and Dean, School of Public Affairs, King Banaian joined me on WJON.  He says:

The Governor has a lot of power in this and will get a lot of his priorities funded.  If the Governor really wants those rebate checks, I think he can make that happen.

Banaian speculated that approximately $500 rebate checks to taxpayers seems like a reasonable compromise.  He says $500 checks wouldn't use so much of the surplus that most of the money will be available to be used for other projects for the Democratic majority.  Banaian indicated that Walz did talk about rebate checks during his campaign and will likely make a push for that.  He says toward the end of the session is when this compromise could happen.  Banaian served in the State Legislature representing District 15B from 2011-2013.

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Recession in the United State has been talked about for almost a year now by economists.  Banaian says a recession won't happen in the first quarter but still could happen in the 2nd quarter of this year.  He says the Fed could still thread the needle by increasing interest rates while dropping the inflation rate to avoid a recession.

Gas prices are either just below $3 a gallon or just above that number this week in Central Minnesota.  Banaian suggests these prices have stabilized a bit and we won't see much movement to reduce the price or increase the price anytime soon.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with King Banaian it is available below.


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