Senate Republicans focus on accountability, reformed cybersecurity in the State Government Budget bill
ST. PAUL, MN – On Thursday, the Minnesota Senate passed a comprehensive state government finance bill that funds government operations and makes substantial reforms to state agency contracts, budgeting, information technology, and oversight. The bill also strengthens Minnesota’s ability to respond to cybersecurity threats.
“Minnesotans expect state government to be run in an efficient and affordable manner and this bill funds the priorities of state agencies while also holding them accountable,” said Senator Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake), Chair of the Senate State Government Finance Committee. “Our budget funds the things we need today while reforming state operations that simply do not work.”
The budget includes several provisions related to government reform and accountability, including a zero-based budgeting requirement that requires a more thorough review of state programs to determine their effectiveness before continuing funding. There is also a provision requiring a freeze on full-time employee positions, allowing the state to recoup and redirect funding for vacant positions. Additionally, the budget includes provisions making significant reforms to state contracts, limiting the fiscal impact and ensuring Minnesota does not spend beyond its means.
“Minnesota’s government bureaucracy has consistently grown since 2011, adding thousands of new employees over that span,”added Senator Kiffmeyer. “Yet, when you look at government operations, we see programs and departments that continue to falter and fail while they demand more from our taxpayers.”
Additionally, the bill includes funding for the state’s cybersecurity needs and election equipment, providing $20.5 million for cybersecurity and creating a new legislative commission on cybersecurity. Combined, these efforts fully fund Minnesota’s cybersecurity needs, preparing the state for potential cyberattacks and ensuring the state is taking necessary steps to protect Minnesotans in the future. Finally, the budget includes a sizeable investment for improvements to Minnesota’s elections systems, allocating funds to popular electronic poll books to assist our polling place workers to quickly register voters.
“Republicans make cybersecurity a priority in this bill because there’s nothing more important than protecting the data of Minnesota citizens,”concluded Senator Kiffmeyer.
The state government budget also funds Minnesota’s constitutional offices and other government boards and commissions including Minnesota IT Services, the Department of Administration, Minnesota Management and Budget, the Department of Revenue, Minnesota Historical Society, and the Humanities Center. In total, the bill spends $876.2 million out of the state’s general fund over the next two years.