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Minnesota's State Budget

Minnesota enacts budgets for a two-year cycle (a biennium), beginning on July 1 of each odd-numbered year. By law, the Governor must propose a biennial budget in January of odd numbered years.

Current Estimates of the State Budget

Once enacted by the Legislature, the budget can be modified in the "off-year" legislative session. As a result of state forecasts and other changes, it has become common for the Legislature to enact annual revisions to the state's biennial budget. These revisions are referred to as supplemental budgets.

State expenditures are usually monitored through an annual spending plan prepared by each agency. These plans ensure that spending remains within authorized levels and are consistent with the statutory purpose of the agency. The state's accounting system includes more than 150 discrete funds that operate much like individual bank accounts with specific sources of revenue.

The state's largest single fund is the General Fund. State collections of individual income taxes, retail sales taxes, business, and other taxes are deposited into this fund. Expenditures from the state General Fund can be made for any authorized state activity subject to legislative appropriation limits. Other state funds are less flexible. For example, certain revenues such as motor vehicle fuel taxes or hunting license fees are deposited into funds that can only be spent for the specific purposes established in the state constitution or in state statutes. In budget terms, these are referred to as dedicated funds.

About the Budget Division

The Budget Division is the central budget office for Minnesota state government. Budget staff work with the Governor's Office, legislative committees, legislative fiscal staffs and state agencies on fiscal policy, program review, performance management and development and monitoring state agency budgets. 

Executive budget officers (EBOs) help agencies apply statewide policies and instructions to build operating budget requests. They review agency requests and make recommendations to the Governor leading to the Governor's proposed budget. The state budget director and division staff also represent and explain the Governor's budget recommendations to the Legislature and other groups. 

Budget planning and operations staff manage related budget systems and plan, organize and provide access to financial and supporting data to support policy development and decision making - monitoring agencies' budgets for compliance with legislative intent, applicable laws and financial policies - as well as adherence to sound financial management principles. 

Results management staff provide leadership and support for statewide results management by maintaining a statewide dashboard and by convening results conferences focused on population indicators.

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