Press release: Minnesota Business Leaders Offer ‘Framework for a Sustainable Future’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2013
Contact: Mark Giga (612) 370-0840, mark.giga@mnbp.com

Minnesota Business Leaders Offer ‘Framework for a Sustainable Future’

Comprehensive report examines Minnesota’s historical budget challenges

Minneapolis, MN – Minnesota’s premier business organization today released, “Meeting Minnesota’s Budget Challenge: Framework for a Sustainable Future,” a report on state finances that the organization hopes will assist lawmakers and the governor as they tackle the budget in 2013.

The Minnesota Business Partnership, a group of more than 110 business leaders representing the state’s largest employers, began work on the report several months ago in an effort to help inform budget discussions in St. Paul.

“Setting the state’s budget is an incredibly difficult and challenging process,” said Charlie Weaver, Executive Director of the Partnership. “We wanted to provide legislators and the governor with some historical perspectives on spending trends as well as an approach for addressing future spending and taxing decisions.”

The report, which was sent to the governor, all state legislators and more than 200 of the state’s top business leaders today, examines both historical and future tax and spending trends and lists options for addressing the long term sustainability of our state’s budget in the context of making Minnesota competitive in the global economy.

“Current revenue and spending trends are unsustainable. Unless we honestly address the factors that are driving state budget growth, we won’t be able to make smart investments that Minnesota needs to grow jobs and improve our competitive advantage,” said Doug Baker, Chairman and CEO of Ecolab and chair of the Partnership’s Fiscal Policy committee. “Tax increases offer only temporary relief because the major government spending areas grow faster than Minnesota’s economy.”

“As Minnesota competes with other states and countries for future investment and job growth, lawmakers should be mindful of how Minnesota’s tax and business climate compares to our competitors,” said Ken Powell, Chairman and CEO of General Mills and immediate past chair of the Partnership said. “Creating incentives that encourage government agencies to improve services and reduce costs – while increasing productivity – are the kinds of budgeting principles that should be the legislature’s first priority.”

Added Baker: “We recognize that the governor and legislature have a challenging budget situation and we look forward to working with them to develop a solution which allows Minnesota to remain vibrant well into the future.”

A copy of the report is available here.

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