Jobs & the Economy
Creating a strong, globally competitive state
Recent years have proved difficult for Minnesotans and our policymakers. Two recessions followed by slow economic recoveries produced a series of budget shortfalls.
Elected officials, many of whom came of age during the 1990s arguing over what to do with “boatloads of money,” found it difficult to reach consensus on closing billion-dollar shortfalls. Budget reserves, transfers from other funds, payment delays and billions of dollars in emergency federal aid helped cushion the blow.
Those bipartisan budget decisions – difficult and contentious as they often were – enabled state lawmakers to meet the constitutional requirement of a balanced budget, even as spending exceeded “current resources” in seven of 14 fiscal years between 2000 and 2013.
The various budget tools state lawmakers turned to over the past decade helped Minnesota navigate a very difficult period. Unfortunately, these tools also enabled the spending base to grow beyond what current revenues can support.
In order to balance the near-term budget challenges state lawmakers face with long-term economic growth that would benefit all Minnesotans, the Partnership bases its fiscal policy priorities on three principles that reflect the interaction between public-sector tax and spending decisions and private-sector job creation:
- The state should foster private-sector investment and job creation, reduce tax revenue volatility and strengthen Minnesota’s global competitiveness.
- State budget reforms should sharpen the focus on outcomes and priorities, encourage fiscal restraint, improve service delivery and produce desired results.
- Through public-private partnerships, Minnesota employers can support structural reforms and enhance public-sector programs.
A copy of the 2013 Fiscal Policy Blueprint can be found here.
For more information, contact Fiscal Policy Director Jill Larson.