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The state’s fiscal year begins July 1 through June 30 of the following calendar year. For example, FY 2010 begins on July 1, 2009 and ends June 30, 2010. A biennium includes two fiscal years. The 2010-11 biennium begins on July 1, 2009 and ends on June 30, 2011.

 The amount of Minnesota’s General Fund expenditures for the 2010-11 biennium is $ 31.330 billion.

Minnesota’s operating budget (all funds) for the 2010-11 biennium is
$ 59.970 billion.

State spending is divided into a series of separate funds, which are separate accounting divisions to keep track of certain revenues and expenditures that are specified in law. Funds are often created to set aside certain revenues for special purposes. For example, taxes on motor vehicle sales, registrations, and gasoline are dedicated to special highway funds for road maintenance and construction. Hunting and fishing license fees are dedicated to the game & fish fund for fish and wildlife conservation programs. State law specifies several dozen separate funds that are used to segregate revenues and spending for various purposes.

The general fund receives the major state taxes on income, sales, corporate income, alcohol and tobacco, and the Legislature appropriates these funds for public purposes.

General Fund spending has increased an average annual growth rate of 5.4 percent from FY 1993 through FY 2009.

There is no specific requirement in the State Constitution for the budget to be balanced. However, the concept is interpreted from Article XI, section 5 of the Minnesota State Constitution which limits the borrowing powers of the state to specific purposes. Borrowing money to pay for a deficit is not one of the purposes outlined as a valid use to issue debt. Since there is no mechanism to pay for a deficit, the budget must be in balance at the end of the biennium.


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