By Ricky Campbell
House Photography file photo
At the beginning of the state’s two-year fiscal cycle, the first year of the legislative session is traditionally a “budget year.” It’s a lengthy process, but it’s one that requires a significant number of hands to craft the final document. In Minnesota’s divided government — a DFLer occupies the Governor’s Mansion and Republicans control both chambers of the Legislature — it demands both teamwork and a clash of ideals.
The massive omnibus finance bills currently making their way to the House Floor are part of the process and they are the culmination of the majority party’s spending priorities for the next biennium.
While state government is funded by revenues — taxes and fees — and has both required expenditures and pet projects, it’s a far cry from how a typical Minnesotan family earns and spends its money.
Yes, the state has vehicles to pay for the lights it turns on, but instead of planning a trip up north to the cabin, state government must somehow plan for a dynamic, changing economy, along with programs, services and infrastructure many Minnesotans rely on.