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Minnesota Budget

We look at budgets as a set of priorities that should reflect our values as a community. State budget decisions effect whether Minnesota children get a quality education, whether young people have what they need to succeed, whether Minnesotans can find and keep good jobs that allow them to support themselves and their families, and whether our elders and neighbors living with disabilities are able to live with dignity in their own communities.

Our state budget analysis emphasizes public services that expand opportunity and economic security to all Minnesotans, what current economic conditions mean for Minnesotans and the state budget, and the importance of following sound budget practices. You'll also find tools to better understand and engage in the budget-setting process.

Minnesota Budget Plans Research

December 2018

Healthy budget, healthy Minnesotans: Preserving essential health care funding

In 1992, Minnesota policymakers made an important long-term investment in Minnesotans’ health and well-being by creating the health care provider tax. The tax funds affordable health care and access to health professionals for people across the state. Unfortunately it is scheduled to expire next December. Our issue brief explains how the provider tax has improved the health of Minnesotans over the last 26 years, and why it’s so important that policymakers maintain it this coming legislative session.

 

November 2016

Final FY 2016-17 supplemental budget makes modest changes to expand opportunity, promote equity

The final budget decisions made in the 2016 Legislative Session combine small but positive steps toward broadly shared prosperity with some missed opportunities. This brief digs into the details on what was and was not included in education, health and human services, and addressing racial disparities. It also examines the 2016 tax bill, which included several important steps to support working families, but which failed to become law due to a drafting error.

April 2016

Dayton's FY 2016-17 supplemental budget proposal works to expand opportunity and close racial gaps

With a $900 million surplus, Governor Mark Dayton makes strategic investments that are focused on expanding opportunity for more Minnesotans, regardless of their race or where they live. We dig into the policy priorities outlined in his budget, which proposes $581 million in net general fund spending, $117 million in net tax cuts, and leaves $202 million unspent.

The tax portion of Dayton’s supplemental budget prioritizes sustainable tax choices that move Minnesota toward a tax system that is more equitable across income levels. It is especially focused on supporting working families, particularly those with children.

July 2015

Opportunities missed and taken in the 2015 Legislative Session

We take an in-depth look at the FY 2016-17 budget passed in June, particularly measuring how well the tax and budget decisions meet the goals of increasing opportunity and economic well-being for all Minnesotans and ensuring a fair and sustainable tax system. With a surplus of $2 billion, policymakers had the opportunity to make targeted new investments after more than a decade of flat or declining funding in many public services. They took some opportunities, missed some, and lost some.

Minnesota Budget Blog Posts

January 28, 2020

Legislative Budget Office will make its debut in upcoming session

The 2020 Legislative Session will involve a new player: the Legislative Budget Office, or LBO . The LBO will be respo...

January 27, 2020

January economic outlook is brighter

January's Economic Update brought us good short-term news: revenues are up, and the economy is growing at a good pace for now. However, with slower economic growth and potential for a recession on the horizon, policymakers should prioritize a strong budget reserve to be able to meet Minnesotans' needs in future tough times.

December 05, 2019

Minnesota’s November budget forecast offers some near-term good news, while pointing to the need for sustained revenues for investments

Minnesota’s budget reserve is strengthened and the state’s budget outlook gives us short-term good news, according to ...

November 07, 2019

Minnesota's budget reserve is strong, let's keep it strong

Every year, Minnesota Management and Budget gives Minnesotans an estimate of what the state needs in its "rainy day" fu...

Minnesota Budget Outlook and Trends Research

February 2020

Minnesota should invest in the future: Inside the November 2019 Economic Forecast

The November 2019 Economic Forecast brought some positive news for now, but predicts a more challenging budget situation in the future. Minnesota is in positive budget territory with a $1.3 billion balance projected for the current two-year budget cycle, FY 2020-21. However, that good news is short-lived. Faced with a short-term surplus, policymakers have an opportunity to make some one-time investments.

February 2018

Minnesota needs to prepare for future: Inside the November 2017 Economic Forecast

The November Economic Forecast projects a $188 million deficit for FY 2018-19 and a $586 million deficit for FY 2020-21. This brief examines the forecast’s economic data that show Minnesota’s economy is still doing fairly well, and that the national economy is expected to grow, although at a slower rate than previously projected. These budgetary projections do not include the impact of likely federal tax and budget changes; state policymakers should ensure Minnesota is fully prepared to navigate the uncharted landscape ahead.

February 2017

Caution is key: Inside the February 2017 Economic Forecast

Minnesota continues its positive budget trend, with a $743 million positive balance for the rest of FY 2016-17 and a $1.7 billion projected positive balance for the upcoming FY 2018-19 budget cycle. These projected balances provide opportunities for the state to make smart investments to bring the economic recovery to every part of the state. However, an uncertain federal budget and tax landscape calls for caution. Minnesota lawmakers should avoid large and unsustainable tax cuts that could put our economic future on shaky ground.

January 2017

Uncertainty means caution necessary: Inside the November 2016 Economic Forecast

Minnesota has a projected $678 million positive balance for the remaining months of FY 2016-17, and a projected $1.4 billion positive balance for FY 2018-19. This brief takes a close look at the state's November forecast, which the governor will use as his starting point for setting the next biennial budget. Uncertainty, in both the national economy and with potential federal policy, should signal caution to Minnesota policymakers when considering budget and tax changes.

Minnesota Budget Process Research

February 2020

The advocate's fiscal toolbox

This fact sheet provides a guide to the top tax and budget resources that advocates can use to advance their issues at the state capitol.

April 2019

How to read the governor's budget

This document walks through how to read the general fund statement and budget book pages that come out with the governor's budget proposals.

February 2019

Everyone is an important part of Minnesota's tax system and can have a say at the Capitol

This infographic includes information about how all Minnesotans contribute to fund public services in Minnesota, and the process for setting the state's budget.

February 2019

How to read the Health Care Access Fund statement

The Health Care Access Fund (HCAF) was created to hold Minnesota’s health care provider tax revenues, in addition to several smaller revenue sources. The HCAF, like the provider tax, was created to invest in efforts that reduce the number of Minnesotans without health insurance, address growing health care costs, and improve the quality of health care services for all Minnesotans. This document provides readers a quick tour of the balance sheet that is updated in each state budget forecast.

Issues