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Tag Archives: Jim Schowalter

Dayton admin finance officials question fiscal accuracy of GOP budgets

The top two finance officials in Gov. Mark Dayton's administration believe that budget proposals put forth by the GOP-controlled Legislature fall short of balancing the state's books by at least $1 billion. In a letter to legislative leaders, Revenue Commissioner Myron Franz and Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter detail concerns about the fiscal soundness of budget plans recently passed by the House and Senate.

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GOP majorities take different routes on HHS plans

The health and human services budget bills working their way through the House and Senate share a couple of significant details. Most notably, the proposals are close in their cutting targets ($1.6 billion in the House, $1.8 billion in the Senate). And both bills' fiscal spreadsheets depend on the prospect of receiving a waiver from the federal government for a substantial portion of the spending reductions they promise.

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Jesson, Schowalter criticize House HHS bill for lack of financial details

Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson sent a letter to Rep. Jim Abeler today chastising him for the lack of fiscal notes scrutinizing key provisions of the House's health and human services finance bill. Specifically Jesson took issue with four provisions designed to save $1.2 billion -- roughly 75 percent of the GOP's overall budget reduction target -- that haven't been thoroughly vetted by fiscal staff.

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The world according to Tom Hanson

As legislators went over the Republican leadership's first budget-cutting bill in the House Ways and Means Committee Monday morning, DFL Rep. Nora Slawik asked the implications of one portion of the proposal, which directs the Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) Office to find nearly $200 million in cuts to state government. Committee members asked if anyone from the budget office was sitting in the audience to testify. No one from the current administration was identified, but one legislator pointed out former MMB chief Tom Hanson in the crowd.

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Dayton’s cabinet is taking shape

Gov. Mark Dayton's cabinet is almost complete. On the week in which he was officially sworn into office, Dayton continued to add to the roster of top agency officials who will help him govern alongside the GOP-controlled Legislature in confronting the state's $6.2 billion budget deficit.

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Budget forecast: The red sea

Minnesota is facing a fiscal mess. That much has been evident for a long time. Last November's budget forecast showed the state facing a $5.4 billion shortfall in the next two-year cycle. Three months later, that number had swelled to $5.8 billion. Put another way, that's roughly 20 percent of the state's total general fund budget in the current biennium.

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Cash-flow crisis roadshow visits House joint committee hearing

Since last fall, top officials at Minnesota Management and Budget have been warning that Minnesota’s sinking general fund balance could force the state into short-term borrowing merely to keep current with day-to-day operating expenses. On Monday, those officials took their dog-and-pony show to a joint meeting of the House Finance and Ways & Means committees.

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