ST. PAUL – By a unanimous, bipartisan board vote, State Representative Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne) was recently elected to serve as Vice-Chair of the Minnesota Legislative Budget Office (LBO) Oversight Committee.
Schomacker was a supporter of the initial legislation to establish the LBO.
“The legislative process and the public's information should not be vailed through the lens of any Governor's Office, Republican or Democratic,” Schomacker said. “My efforts on the board will be to ensure the LBO has autonomy in their fiscal analysis, not from the agenda setting of the Governor's Office. I also intend to make sure the LBO has the authority to analyze all aspects of proposals that impact taxpayer dollars. More information allows for better decisions, and the state could use some better decisions.”
The LBO is a nonpartisan office within the legislative branch of Minnesota state government, charged with objectively evaluating proposed legislation to assess the potential impact on the state budget. The products of this work are known as fiscal notes and local impact notes. State agencies provide the data estimating the proposed legislation's impact for a fiscal note. Data used to develop local impact notes is provided by local entities and associations of local entity professionals, as well as state agencies. LBO staff review this information to assess accuracy, reasonableness and compliance with fiscal note policies and standards prior to submission to the legislature.
In 2021, the Minnesota Legislature enacted a law establishing the Tax Expenditure Review Commission. The LBO provides professional and technical assistance to the Tax Expenditure Review Commission, which will annually submit written reports to the legislature beginning December 2022.