Leaders eye change for judging laws’ costs

Published 10:39 am Tuesday, March 3, 2015

ST. PAUL — House and Senate leaders want to change how Minnesota estimates the cost of new legislation.

They want to create a legislative budget office to handle the estimates instead of the state office that does it now.

House Speaker Kurt Daudt says relying on the Minnesota Management and Budget office to appraise the cost of proposed laws violates the state’s separation of powers. He and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk have each introduced bills to end the current arrangement.

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Daudt says he doesn’t think anyone in the state office has fudged numbers before, but the potential for abuse is there. The Crown Republican says the switch could be as simple as moving the current budget workers into the new legislative office.