Budget Trends

The Lost Decade: Taking a Closer Look at Minnesota's Public Investments in the 2000s, December 2008
The Lost Decade looks closely at funding trends in four state budget areas that significantly impact the well-being of Minnesotans: early education and K-12 education, higher education, child care assistance, and affordable housing and homelessness prevention. As a result of funding cuts in these areas, many Minnesotans had fewer opportunities to succeed in school, in the workplace, or in providing a decent standard of living for their families.

Trends in Minnesota Government Spending, September 2002
Between 1987 and 1997 (the period of time examined by this report), Minnesota trailed the national average in terms of growth in government spending. However, state and local government investments in public services and infrastructure contributed positively to Minnesota’s economic health and quality of life. 

Wasted Opportunities: How We Used Our Surpluses 1997-2001, January 2002
Between 1997 and 2001, Minnesota policymakers had the opportunity to allocate budget surpluses of over $13 billion. This joint analysis with the Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota finds that over half of those surpluses went to temporary tax rebates and permanent tax cuts. Our current budget-balancing decisions should be informed by how surpluses were used in the past and how certain programs were underfunded even in times of plenty.