Meeting Minnesota’s Budget Challenge

What are the underlying factors that are driving the volatility of Minnesota’s state budget? Why does state spending consistently outpace tax revenue? And what, if anything, can be done to address this seemingly permanent structural imbalance?

Those were some of the questions that led members of the Minnesota Business Partnership’s Fiscal Policy Committee to commission a study of our state’s historical and future budget trends in the hopes of better understanding the underlying causes of the volatility and how we might be able to transition to a more predictable and stable state budget.

Their findings, contained in the report Meeting Minnesota’s Budget Challenge: Framework for a Sustainable Future  (link), is the Partnership’s contribution to the budget debate that will take place in St. Paul during the 2013 legislative session.

The report offers the following framework for creating a long-term strategy that will position Minnesota for prosperity in a rapidly changing world. Our state must:

  • PROVIDE SUSTAINABLE, PREDICTABLE, GROWTH-BASED BUDGETING
  • PROMOTE PRODUCTIVITY
  • BEND THE HEALTH CARE COST CURVE
  • CREATE A WORLD-CLASS EDUCATION SYSTEM

We are optimistic that Minnesota can do more than overcome the challenges ahead, and we believe Minnesota is positioned to prosper in this new environment. We have a resilient and diverse economy with global leadership in key sectors, including food, water, energy and health, among others. We have a well-educated and industrious workforce. We have vibrant and visionary foundations and nonprofits.

In addition, we have a long history of crafting and implementing bold public-sector innovations that have contributed to Minnesota’s extraordinary quality of life. We continue to be blessed with a passionate and dedicated public sector determined to keep Minnesota a national model and global leader.

Meeting Minnesota’s Budget Challenge: Framework for a Sustainable Future  (link) makes the case for systemic changes in our approach to state budgeting. And along with the Partnership’s Blueprint for Reform  (here), – which provides additional recommendations in fiscal, education and health policy – we believe that as Minnesotans working together, our state can set the standard for governing in this new era.

Meeting Minnesota’s Budget Challenge press release here.