By Ricky Campbell
Audience members follow along with the spreadsheet as House State Government Finance Committee staff do a run-through of the committee’s omnibus bill March 27. Photo by Paul Battaglia
Commissioners and agency heads throughout Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration lined up Monday to decry the omnibus state government finance bill, a two-year, $943 million spending package that they say is too harsh in times of projected financial abundance.
The House State Government Finance Committee began digging into a combination of lawmakers’ priorities, including reductions to the state government workforce and recouping funds from the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority’s U.S. Bank Stadium controversy. The omnibus bill, HF691, as amended, would reduce current government spending by $430 million and it’s $224.4 million short of what Dayton recommended in January.
The committee took no action on the bill but will continue working on it Tuesday. There is a required deadline for approving it by the end of Friday.
With added emphasis this year on increasing government technology efforts and ramping up cybersecurity, both through legislation and the governor’s budget proposals, departments were hoping the Legislature would provide them with additional funding. But the omnibus bill reduces spending nearly across the board – and commissioners believe that will inhibit their ability to improve these systems.