Executive Branch has Advantage in Budget Timing (Part 1)

by Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

Having spent sixteen years in Minnesota state government, eight years as a legislative staffer and eight years in the Executive Branch, I have come to the conclusion that the Executive Branch has a decided advantage over the Legislature in the timing of its budget preparation. Why? Simply put, the Executive Branch has six months to prepare its budget, while the House and Senate have much less time.

While the 2012 Legislative Session was still in the rear-view mirror of most of us, State Budget Director Margaret Kelly of Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) quietly issued the budget instructions for the 2014-2015 biennial budget cycle on July 11, 2012. These instructions, which can be found at http://www.beta.mmb.state.mn.us/op-instructions, provide specific information and deadlines for each agency. Here is the list of deadlines: 



Part A: Narrative Instructions and Templates Available

July 11

Narrative Training, SharePoint and BPAS Training

July and August

Part B: Preparing Fiscal Information Instructions Available

Late July

Agency Narratives Due to MMB

August 24

Part C: Agency Budget Proposal Instructions Available

Late August

Agency Narratives Published to MMB Website

Early October

Base Budget Data Due to MMB

October 15

Non-Executive Branch, Constitutional Officers, Small Agency Proposals Due

October 15

Executive Branch Agency Budget Proposals due to MMB

October TBD in Part C

Base Budget Data Submitted to Legislature

November 30

Governor’s Decision Making


Governor’s Budget Submitted to Legislature

January 22, 2013

With this schedule, the Executive Branch has developed a time-honored, orderly budget development process in which budget recommendations are discussed, contemplated, decided, and perfected.

Now contrast this with the Legislative time schedule.

The Legislature will receive the Governor’s recommendations on January 22, 2013 and immediately begin hearings. Because of the number of committees in the House and Senate, each committee meets only a handful of hours each week so hearings will extend a couple of months. During this time, the Legislature not only considers the Governor’s budget proposal but other proposals from stakeholders as well.

At the end of February, MMB issues the February Forecast which always has the potential to significantly change revenues and expenditures. The Governor usually issues revised budget recommendations by mid-March. At this point, the Legislature receives the final set of Governor’s recommendations, a full eight months after the first budget instructions from MMB. In the next five weeks, until roughly the third week in April, the Legislature usually engages in the process of passing its budget.

While legislators are jockeying back and forth over line-items and budget language, the Executive Branch has the luxury of trying to influence the process. The Governor, key staff, and Commissioners will begin the process of strategizing for end-game scenarios to utilize in budget negotiations with Legislative Leaders.

For me personally, the process always seemed rushed when I worked at the Legislature. While I was in the Governor’s Office and the MMB Commissioner, I felt like I had more control over the timing of my work product. Still, there are advantages the Legislature has over the Governor in this process. I will discuss these advantages in a future blog post.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.