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Reason Foundation

State of the State: Minnesota in 2011

Harris Kenny
March 12, 2011, 8:12pm

This is the fifth of a ten-part series on the 2011 State of the State (SOTS) speeches in states with the ten worst projected relative budget deficits for FY 2012. Budget data is from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' (CBPP) recent budget report, and SOTS speech text is from Stateline. CBPP's data on states' FY 2012 budget deficits as a percentage of their FY 2011 budget is the benchmark for relative budget deficits.

According to CBPP, in FY 2012 Minnesota is projected to have the seventh worst relative budget deficit, nearly 23.6% of its FY 2011 budget; and the seventh highest absolute budget deficit, totaling 3.8 billion dollars.

On February 9, 2011 Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton delivered his 2011 SOTS speech (full text available here). Gov. Dayton begins by imploring legislators to work together to avoid a government shutdown by the end of the legislative session in July. Next, he acknowledges the states’ current economic condition by citing falling real median income data and persistent unemployment rates affecting many Minnesota residents. Below are some noteworthy policies proposals discussed in the speech:

Policymakers in the North Star State face a daunting task in the years ahead and should look to other states for ways to navigate through this fiscal crisis and balance the budget. For example, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) recently published the State Budget Reform Toolkit, which contains many proven and innovative policy tools. Reason Foundation’s Annual Privatization Report 2010: State Government Privatization section identifies privatization policy trends, successes and failures from across the country.

For the previous articles in this SOTS series, see: Wisconsin, California, Illinois, Connecticut and Oregon.


Harris Kenny is Policy Analyst


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