A top Minnesota political analyst warns economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic could turn the state budget surplus into a sea of red ink. Hamline University’s David Schultz says the latest forecast which came out in late February predicted a 1.5-billion-dollar budget surplus, assuming no major changes in the economy — but now…

“We’re seeing Minnesota as well as the rest of the country facing major economic changes. I would bet at this point that we are already in a deficit or very close to running a deficit now, because of the way the economy is shifting.”

Schultz says the legislature will now probably be faced with a much different task than when lawmakers came back to Saint Paul in February — namely, dealing with a budget shortfall.