BLOG: Budget Ballooning in Minnesota

No matter how budget negotiations go over the next two weeks before the May 18th session deadline, Minnesotans already know one thing: government spending is going up again.

While most media is still reporting a House Republican budget number of $40 billion for the 2016-2017 biennium, Alpha News reported in late March that the actual amount proposed is $40.7 billion which includes $100 million in budget reserves, $300 million in re-purposed general funds for transportation spending, and $319 million in a “yet to be allocated” pot which will likely be a key number in budget negotiations. The Republican House seeks to give back $2.3 billion of in tax credits and cuts, while the Senate has proposed $311 million in tax cuts and Governor Dayton’s tax relief target is a mere $134 million.

Over the last five budget cycles, General Fund spending has increased by 21% from $31.5 billion to $39.6 billion in the current biennium.

The All funds budget– which is the amount that Minnesota spends from all possible revenue streams including debt service, federal grants, transportation, and other special revenue– is up 34% since 2006.