House Passes Budget Bill that Reforms State Government, Offers More Oversight to Protect Taxpayers

PAUL, Minn.—On Saturday, the Minnesota House passed the State Government Finance Committee Omnibus Bill (Senate File 888) authored by Representative Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth). This committee is responsible for funding several state agencies with $902.6 million dollars for Fiscal Years 2016-17. The bill passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 73 to 55.

 

“I agree with Governor Dayton that Minnesota needs to enact real reform.  Our state government needs to lead in those reform efforts and my bill does that,” said Representative Anderson.  “Government spending grew three times faster than the economy.  That’s unsustainable.  Republicans are leading on reforming state government operations to provide a more effective government that is accountable to the public.”

 

First, the bill prioritizes veterans’ health care, financial literacy education, learning to read for at-risk youth and healthy eating.

 

Another key focus of this legislation is to eliminate waste of taxpayer dollars by strengthening oversight of government grants, agencies and contracts. This is especially important after recent concerns about government funded organizations like Community Action of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Urban League and the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency.

 

Furthermore, the bill also reforms government agency rulemaking, requiring evaluation of agency rules that place an economic burden on taxpayers of more than $5 million.

 

Finally, the bill includes a provision that any future agency commissioner pay raise must be less than inflation or the Minnesota median household increase, whichever is lower. This change is in response to recent efforts to increase commissioner pay by as much as $30,000 to $84,000.

 

“From eliminating abuse and waste within our government to limiting payouts to political appointees, this bill is about doing right by taxpayers and Minnesota families,” added Rep. Anderson.

 

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