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Glossary of Terms

Agency - The primary organizational unit for state government. In this case Agency represents many different kinds of units including state agencies, boards, commissions, constitutional offices, and other units like the University of Minnesota or Minnesota State Colleges & Universities.

Appropriation - An amount of money made available by the legislature for use by an agency to perform a particular purpose.

Fund - A grouping of accounts designated for specific, same or similar purposes as indicated in Minnesota laws.

Program - An organizational unit below Agency, program refers to a group of activities an agency carries out to achieve a specific goal.

Activity - The individual unit level of the state budget, activity refers to a specific objective performed by a given state agency such as MMB's statewide budget services activity or the Department of Public Safety's patrolling highways activity.

Available Amount - The total dollars from all sources, including all appropriations, transfers, and any remaining monies from earlier years, that an agency has to spend for the particular program in the current year.

Budget Amount - The dollars the State has set aside for an agency to spend in a given time frame, usually one or two years, on a particular program or activity.

Budget Year - Identifies the period that money is legally authorized for spending by the legislature. The State of Minnesota's Budget Year starts on July 1st and ends on June 30th of each year. Example, Budget Fiscal Year 2014 begins on July 1, 2013 and ends on June 30, 2014. It is important to understand some money may be available for spending after the Budget Year has ended.

Obligated Amount - The dollars that an agency has specific plans (for example: employee salaries; rent payments; contracts; etc.) to spend for a particular program or activity.

Spend Amount - The dollars that an agency has spent since the beginning of the current budget year.

Budget Remaining Amount - All dollars an agency has available to spend at the current time on a given program or activity.

Payee - The individual, company, or organization receiving payment from the State.

Expense Category - A reporting unit for payments made by agencies, based on the general purpose of the particular spending (for example: Equipment).

Expense Type - A reporting unit for payments made by agencies, based on the specific purpose of the particular spending (for example: Computers).

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