I am Margaret Kelly, State Budget Director.
The state budget is large and complex. And, some of the terms and concepts are unique to state government budgeting.
The following questions provide an overview of the basics of the budget. We are interested in hearing your thoughts or additional questions.
You may e-mail questions or comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are two important numbers for the state budget. The first is general fund spending. For the current two-year budget general fund spending is expected to be $39.587 billion - or just under $20 billion per year. The general fund budget numbers are the numbers one is most likely to find frequently referenced in the media and news stories. numbers. The general fund is the largest state fund where most state taxes are deposited and most state spending for major budget areas occurs. State forecasts and resulting projections of "deficits" or "surpluses" focus on the state general fund.
However, this does not represent total state spending. For the current budget period total state spending is expected to be $71.289 billion - or about $35.6 billion a year The general fund accounts for just over for just over 55 percent of total state spending. Other state funds, dedicated for specific purposes, as well as federal funding received by the state make up the additional spending. State budget documents for a given area of agency generally display total funding broken into categories: general fund, other state funds, and federal.
You can find more information on the current state budget on the budget division web pages under Operating Budget, Current Budget.
Income, Sales, Corporate Income, and the Statewide Property tax are the four largest sources of general fund revenues. The composition of revenue sources and the growth rate of each of the sources is fundamental to understanding and managing state finances. In general, a diverse revenue system with broad-based taxes is more stable, more likely to align with economic activity, and likely to be less volatile.
It is a benefit that both income and sales tax contribute more than 75 percent. Compared to 2005. however, Minnesota has become more reliant on those two revenue sources.
The rate at which state revenues are likely to grow is important to understanding the state budget and state finances. It determines not only the stability of Minnesota's revenue structure, but forecasting the long-term trend of revenue growth provides an important tool when matched against future projected growth in spending.
Here are some state payroll facts:
This payroll includes executive branch state agencies, constitutional offices, the judicial branch, retirement systems, and the legislative auditor which are paid through the state's payroll system. Not included are payroll estimates for the Legislature, higher education systems (University of Minnesota and MNSCU), and and quasi-state entities such as the Minnesota historical society and Metropolitan Council which are generally not on the state payroll system and are effectively treated as grant or aid payments.
On average, the cost of total state compensation can be broken down into the following general components based on FY 2013 payments:
The inventory of state agencies, programs, and activities is a good starting point. This information, prepared with the biennial budget, provides descriptive information on the nature, purpose and performance of state programs and activities. The information normally includes a link to an individual agency's website - along with a contact for additional information.
Fiscal Notes and Local Impact Notes
"Fiscal notes" are documents that estimate the budgetary impact, including costs, savings or changes in revenue, of proposed legislation (referred to as "bills"). The chairs of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, or committees to which a bill has been referred may request that fiscal notes be completed for a bill. Fiscal notes are typically prepared by executive branch agencies affected by bills.
All fiscal notes must be approved by the executive branch’s budget agency (MMB). You can find completed fiscal notes here.
"Local impact notes" estimate the local financial impact on each type of political subdivision that would result from proposed legislation. Political subdivisions include local units of government such as cities, counties, and school districts. Local impact notes may be requested by the chair or ranking minority member of the House or Senate Tax Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee, or the Senate Finance Committee.
The law assigns responsibility for coordinating local impact notes to MMB. To prepare local impact notes, MMB often obtains data or input from representatives of local government units or associations. You can find completed local impact notes here.