Local 3141 - Department of Revenue

5-26-2011 Update from Commissioner Frans

To: All Department of Revenue Employees
From: Commissioner Myron Frans
Subject: Budget Update
Date: May 26, 2011

Yesterday Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Prettner Solon met with all agency Commissioners to have the first of many discussions on how to proceed with contingency planning in the event we reach the end of the fiscal year without a new budget.

While we do not have all the answers, I am committed to sharing with all of you what I know, when I know it.
The Governor and Lt. Governor started the meeting by thanking each of the Commissioners and their employees for the outstanding work everyone has been doing. The Governor made it clear that he will continue to work hard to find a solution to the budget impasse.

Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter will be the lead for contingency planning, and Dana Anderson, from the Governor’s office will be the Governor office lead. These two have the mammoth task, along with hundreds of others, of managing the process that each agency will undergo to prepare for a potential shutdown.

Contingency planning is a complex process, with millions of moving parts, but at its core, the issue is simple: without a budget, state government does not have the authority to spend money on government services. However, there are some critical services that directly impact the health and safety of citizens, or have such broad economic impact that the state cannot do without them, even for a short time. The Governor needs to seek authority from the Courts to spend money to pay for those critical services.

Agencies will begin the first step in the contingency planning process, which requires each agency to identify exactly which of the above-mentioned critical services their department must continue to provide. “Critical Services” is a legal definition that will be applied in painstaking detail to all the work state government does.
Our department will begin this process as well. All members of Senior Management, HR Director, and CFO will be meeting this week and early next week to identify “critical services.” I am committed to moving swiftly through this process so that we can alert you of decisions as they are made.

I recognize the next several weeks will be challenging, confusing, and stressful. The Governor will continue to focus on working with the legislature to find a compromise. He is determined to find a compromise that protects the capacity of state government employees to provide the essential services that Minnesotans expect and deserve.
All of you are essential employees of this agency. I know this is a difficult time for all of you. I will continue to provide communication as I learn more and as decisions are made.

Thank you again for the work you do every day for the people of Minnesota.

Myron Frans
Commissioner of Revenue
600 North Robert Street
St. Paul, MN 55146

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