Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Governor's budget reviewed by Senate State Government Committee

Yesterday at the Capitol

The Senate State Government Budget Division met yesterday for a presentation on internal financial controls for state agencies and to review the governor's proposed budget. Cecile Ferkul, deputy legislative auditor with the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA), spoke about internal auditing standards for Minnesota state agencies. Ferkul said the OLA's internal controls assessment is based on three main themes; the agency's ability to prudently use its resources, protect its assets and accurately record its financial transactions. Ferkul said all state agencies are responsible for designing, implementing and maintaining effective internal control systems, and state agencies must provide leadership and direction in setting objectives, assessing risks, and periodically evaluating internal controls.

The committee also reviewed the governor's proposed biennial budget for fiscal years 2010-2011. Fiscal Analyst Kevin Lundeen said the governor's proposed budget, which allocates roughly $33.6 billion in general fund spending, sets top spending priorities and recommends improvements in E-12 education, enhancements in Minnesota's job climate, protection of state public safety programs, maintaining military and veterans programs and increasing government reform and accountability.

The proposed budget calls for a $2.5 billion dollar reduction in spending, Lundeen said, including reduced spending in state government agencies under the committee's jurisdiction such as the Dept. of Revenue, Dept. of Administration, Minnesota Management and Budget and the Office of Enterprise Technology.

At the Capitol:
Legislative schedules are available for the House and Senate.

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