Contact: Juve Meza at 651-289-1073 or jmeza[at]citizensleague.org
The state of Minnesota has entered what many refer to as the "new normal." Changing demographic and financial trends pose significant challenges to the way the state does business. With a large current budget shortfall and projections showing ongoing shortfalls, Minnesota cannot continue to do business as usual.
Solutions to large budget deficits are typically associated with words like "pain" and "tough choices." The decisions are often very difficult, but the basis of these decisions is an expression of values and priorities about what type of state its citizens want Minnesota to be.
In an effort to understand these values and priorities from 2010-11, the Citizens League and TakeAction Minnesota, in partnership with the Bush Foundation, hosted over 40 community conversations around the state and online to share information about the state's budgetary challenges and to ask Minnesotans: What values and priorities should guide solutions to state budget challenges for the long-term?
In the 2011 legislative session, $5 billion state budget gap was resolved with accounting shifts and temporary fixes using one-time money. As a result, the 2014-15 budget projections continue to show a shortfall of around $1.3 billion.
This presents Minnesotans with another great opportunity to weigh in.
In 2012, we'll be heading around Minnesota again with both an updated version of the original workshop and a new session that focus on the issue of tax structure.
Many of the workshops will be done through employers and civic organizations free of charge between February and June. If you know an employer or organization that would be interested in hosting a workshop, please contact Juve Meza at jmeza[at]citizensleague.org or 651-289-1073.
Read about our 2011 findings report (pdf) which provides a summary of the community conversations held for the Common Cents project. A summary of each workshop and online survey and discussion results can be found at www.citizing.org/projects/commoncents.