Fiscal Focus

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


December 10, 2019

November / December 2019

State Government’s Human Capital Problem 

Until Minnesota government takes other workforce issues as seriously as its fixation with internal equity, trying to get and retain necessary talent in government is doomed to be an increasingly expensive exercise in frustration while recent high-profile agency embarrassments become more common.

Greatest Research Hits of 2019

Tax incentives, tax-induced behaviors, issues surrounding income inequality -- our annual review of this year's National Bureau of Economic Research working papers offers information and insights on issues and policies being debated at the state capitol.

DHS: Now Comes the Hard Part

New Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead's “90 Day Review and Plan” for the troubled agency was a thoughtful and encouraging plan of action from an experienced manager and leader.  Now come the implementation realities and challenges presented by the state’s human capital system in delivering on it.

October 29, 2019

September / October 2019

93rd Annual Meeting Highlights -- The Keys to Minnesota's Competitive Future

The Siting Expert:  Location Selection Drivers and Trends

One of the nation’s leading site selection authorities offers his perspective on how business decision-making with respect to locating and expanding operations has changed and continues to change.

The Numbers: Benchmarking Minnesota’s Competitiveness

We revisit our 2013 report on Minnesota competitiveness to see where we stand and what has and hasn’t changed.

The Discussion:  State Competitiveness Panel

A distinguished group of panelists representing different disciplines and perspectives examine Minnesota’s supply and demand for talent, the sustainability of our higher tax/higher service approach to competitiveness, and whether placing our chips on the “tech economy” makes sense.

The Chancellor:  Higher Education’s Role, Challenges and Opportunities

Chancellor Devinder Malhotra of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities highlighted the critical role, challenges, and opportunities state colleges and universities play in supplying the necessary talent to Minnesota, both now and in the future.

August 21, 2019

July / August 2019

State Budget Process Reform: New Rules Can’t Help What Also Troubles Minnesota

“Wagner’s Law” combined with a broken competitive structure in politics underlies and complicates the major challenge of successful state budget process reform.

“Fix It or Junk It”

As long-time MCFE research director Aaron Twait leaves to embark on his new career, he was asked if there is was one parting recommendation he wanted to leave to the world of state government.  The answer: some frank advice regarding the Minnesota Price of Government.

“The Keys to Minnesota’s Competitive Future”  MCFE Annual Meeting and Policy Forum

Join us the morning of October 9th at the St. Paul River Centre for a look at Minnesota's competitiveness -- where we stand, how the concept itself is evolving, and most importantly what we need to be doing going forward.

Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen

 Aaron gets the last word in this issue.   Thank you Aaron for your great work!