More budget information…and the cracks start showing

New information about the Governor’s budget is now available on the web.

On the Governor’s website (these are the same documents we linked to on Tuesday):

New information on the Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) website:

  • The summary of change items in the Governor’s revised budget. There aren’t too many details, but it does briefly list each change in his budget and the financial impact. This is a good place to look if you are interested in a specific issue and want to know if it got changed, added or removed. (MMB says the actual revised change item pages should be out in the next week.)
  • Comparing FY 2008-09 to FY 2010-11 under the Governor’s revised budget. This sheet shows how funding for each area of the budget would change from this biennium to the next under the revised proposal. An interesting overview.
  • The revised planning estimates for FY 2012-13 under the Governor budget proposal. This sheet is the subject of some curiousity (see a post by The Political Animal). That’s because the plan posted on the Governor’s website (see above) shows a $8 million positive balance in FY 2012-13, but this sheet on MMB shows a $2.6 billion deficit for FY 2012-13. Why the huge difference? Our guess is it’s because the Governor has proposed a set of spending targets that balances the budget in FY 2012-13, but he has not yet released a specific plan for achieving those targets. So, the sheet posted at MMB says, “If you implement the specifics the Governor has laid out so far, then this is what would happen in FY 2012-13.” And that leaves a $2.6 billion deficit.

So, on Tuesday morning I posed the question: “Does the Governor’s budget make a sincere attempt to balance the budget in FY 2012-13, or does it include more of a placeholder to satisfy the requirements of the law?” For now, the answer is “it’s just a placeholder.”

-Christina Wessel

About Christina Wessel

Christina served as the Minnesota Budget Project's deputy director until January 2014.
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