Fiscal Focus

Fiscal Focus is our bimonthly publication providing news, analysis, and commentary on tax and spending topics in the headlines.


April 20, 2022

March / April 2022

Four Questions Regarding the Homestretch

With a month to go, we look at some questions surrounding 2022 budgeting, tax relief, and spending priorities.

Money Well Spent

The work of Office of the Legislative Auditor commands the attention and respect of lawmakers across the political spectrum.  But that high regard has not translated into a level of financial support reflecting the size, scope, and complexity of state government today.

Revisiting “How Much is Enough?”

The adequacy of education aid is once again a major issue in the 2022 session.  A look back at our 2015 report on education finance labor costs and its relevance for today’s debate. 

February 22, 2022

January / February 2022

So Much for “Supplemental

In an off-budget year featuring a massive surplus and a generous, accommodating federal government, neither side is holding back.

The Renewed Push to Exempt Social Security

The state’s huge surplus has propelled full exemption of social security income to the top of many tax relief wish lists.  The numbers may look kindlier on the idea but it remains far better politics than tax policy.

Should Government Budgets Be Rich in Fiber?

With the avalanche of federal cash to boost and enhance broadband connectivity comes a temptation for Minnesota to deviate from a proven track record of what works

$73 Billion...So Far

Snapshot of federal COVID management and economic recovery funds provided to Minnesota and their uses

January 11, 2022

November / December 2021

The 2022 Session: Uncertainty in a Time of Abundance

Money doesn’t buy happiness, and with respect to the upcoming legislative session, it doesn’t provide clarity either.  Three questions we’re asking heading into 2022.

Why Does Minnesota Spend So Much More Than the National Average on Health and Human Services?

We take a look behind the numbers reported in our latest edition of “How Does Minnesota Compare?” 

State Pension Plans: Great Returns Don’t Assure Peace in the Valley

A 30.3% investment return in FY 2021 by the State Board of Investment should pave the way for a rather quiet year for Legislative Committee on Pensions and Retirement.  But nothing is ever quite that easy in pension land.