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16A.152 BUDGET RESERVE AND CASH FLOW ACCOUNTS.

Subdivision 1.Cash flow account established.

A cash flow account is created in the general fund in the state treasury. Amounts in the cash flow account shall remain in the account until drawn down and used to meet cash flow deficiencies resulting from uneven distribution of revenue collections and required expenditures during a fiscal year.

Subd. 1a.Budget reserve.

A budget reserve account is created in the general fund in the state treasury. The commissioner of management and budget shall transfer to the budget reserve account on July 1 of each odd-numbered year any amounts specifically appropriated by law to the budget reserve.

Subd. 1b.Budget reserve increase.

On July 1, 2003, the commissioner of management and budget shall transfer $300,000,000 to the budget reserve account in the general fund. On July 1, 2004, the commissioner of management and budget shall transfer $296,000,000 to the budget reserve account in the general fund. The amounts necessary for this purpose are appropriated from the general fund.

Subd. 2.Additional revenues; priority.

(a) If on the basis of a forecast of general fund revenues and expenditures, the commissioner of management and budget determines that there will be a positive unrestricted budgetary general fund balance at the close of the biennium, the commissioner of management and budget must allocate money to the following accounts and purposes in priority order:

(1) the cash flow account established in subdivision 1 until that account reaches $350,000,000;

(2) the budget reserve account established in subdivision 1a until that account reaches $653,000,000;

(3) the amount necessary to increase the aid payment schedule for school district aids and credits payments in section 127A.45 to not more than 90 percent rounded to the nearest tenth of a percent without exceeding the amount available and with any remaining funds deposited in the budget reserve;

(4) the amount necessary to restore all or a portion of the net aid reductions under section 127A.441 and to reduce the property tax revenue recognition shift under section 123B.75, subdivision 5, by the same amount; and

(5) to the state airports fund, the amount necessary to restore the amount transferred from the state airports fund under Laws 2008, chapter 363, article 11, section 3, subdivision 5.

(b) The amounts necessary to meet the requirements of this section are appropriated from the general fund within two weeks after the forecast is released or, in the case of transfers under paragraph (a), clauses (3) and (4), as necessary to meet the appropriations schedules otherwise established in statute.

(c) The commissioner of management and budget shall certify the total dollar amount of the reductions under paragraph (a), clauses (3) and (4), to the commissioner of education. The commissioner of education shall increase the aid payment percentage and reduce the property tax shift percentage by these amounts and apply those reductions to the current fiscal year and thereafter.

Subd. 3.Use.

The use of the budget reserve should be governed by principles based on the full economic cycle rather than the budget cycle. The budget reserve may be used when a negative budgetary balance is projected and when objective measures, such as reduced growth in total wages, retail sales, or employment, reflect downturns in the state's economy.

Subd. 4.Reduction.

(a) If the commissioner determines that probable receipts for the general fund will be less than anticipated, and that the amount available for the remainder of the biennium will be less than needed, the commissioner shall, with the approval of the governor, and after consulting the Legislative Advisory Commission, reduce the amount in the budget reserve account as needed to balance expenditures with revenue.

(b) An additional deficit shall, with the approval of the governor, and after consulting the Legislative Advisory Commission, be made up by reducing unexpended allotments of any prior appropriation or transfer. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the commissioner is empowered to defer or suspend prior statutorily created obligations which would prevent effecting such reductions.

(c) If the commissioner determines that probable receipts for any other fund, appropriation, or item will be less than anticipated, and that the amount available for the remainder of the term of the appropriation or for any allotment period will be less than needed, the commissioner shall notify the agency concerned and then reduce the amount allotted or to be allotted so as to prevent a deficit.

(d) In reducing allotments, the commissioner may consider other sources of revenue available to recipients of state appropriations and may apply allotment reductions based on all sources of revenue available.

(e) In like manner, the commissioner shall reduce allotments to an agency by the amount of any saving that can be made over previous spending plans through a reduction in prices or other cause.

Subd. 5.Restoration.

The restoration of the budget reserve should be governed by principles based on the full economic cycle rather than the budget cycle. Restoration of the budget reserve should occur when objective measures, such as increased growth in total wages, retail sales, or employment, reflect upturns in the state's economy. The budget reserve should be restored before new or increased spending commitments are made.

Subd. 6.Notice to committees.

The commissioner shall notify the committees on finance and taxes and tax laws of the senate and the committees on ways and means and taxes of the house of representatives of a reduction in an allotment under this section. The notice must be in writing and delivered within 15 days of the commissioner's act. The notice must specify:

(1) the amount of the reduction in the allotment;

(2) the agency and programs affected;

(3) the amount of any payment withheld; and

(4) any additional information the commissioner determines is appropriate.

Subd. 7.Delay; reduction.

The commissioner may delay paying up to 15 percent of an appropriation to a special taxing district or a system of higher education in that entity's fiscal year for up to 60 days after the start of its next fiscal year. The delayed amount is subject to allotment reduction under subdivision 4.

Subd. 8.Report on budget reserve percentage.

(a) The commissioner of management and budget must periodically review the formula developed as part of the Budget Trends Study Commission authorized by Laws 2007, chapter 148, article 2, section 81, to estimate the percentage of the preceding biennium's general fund expenditures and transfers recommended as a budget reserve.

(b) The commissioner must annually review the variables and coefficients in the formula used to model the base of the general fund taxes and the mix of taxes that provide revenues to the general fund. If the commissioner determines that the variables and coefficients have changed enough to result in a change in the percentage of the preceding biennium's general fund expenditures and transfers recommended as a budget reserve, the commissioner must update the variables and coefficients in the formula to reflect the current base and mix of general fund taxes.

(c) Every ten years, the commissioner must review the methodology underlying the formula, taking into consideration relevant economic literature from the past ten years, and determine if the formula remains adequate as a tool for estimating the percentage of the preceding biennium's general fund expenditures and transfers recommended as a budget reserve. If the commissioner determines that the methodology underlying the formula is outdated, the commissioner must revise the formula.

(d) By January 15 of each year, the commissioner must report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the house of representatives Committee on Ways and Means and the senate Committee on Finance, in compliance with sections 3.195 and 3.197, on the percentage of the preceding biennium's general fund expenditures and transfers recommended as a budget reserve. The report must specify:

(1) if the commissioner updated the variables and coefficients in the formula to reflect significant changes to either the base of one or more general fund taxes or to the mix of taxes that provide revenues to the general fund as provided in paragraph (b);

(2) if the commissioner revised the formula after determining the methodology was outdated as provided in paragraph (c); and

(3) if the percentage of the preceding biennium's general fund expenditures and transfers recommended as a budget reserve has changed as a result of an update of or a revision to the formula.

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