Fiscal Focus

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


January 06, 2021

November / December 2020

The $100 Million Health and Human Service Savings Challenge

With nearly every new dollar of general fund tax revenue in the next biennium currently projected to be consumed by current law health and human service (HHS) spending, what should we expect from the cost-saving efforts of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Health and Human Services?

Clean Up on Aisle 2021

Federal COVID responses and the usual raft of end of year federal temporary tax provisions have again created a backlog of state tax conformity matters and the prospect of a yet more complicated and expensive tax system.  There is an action we should consider to mitigate this recurring problem.

October 30, 2020

September / October 2020

Finish Line

Resistance to the continuation of the governor’s emergency powers was a formidable obstacle, but rejecting over $2 billion in economic benefits spread across the state entailed its own political risk.

COVID’s Fiscal Footprint

What is COVID’s impact on state and local finances and family financial security?   A National Tax Association publication offers some analysis as well as perspective on what it may mean for any new round of federal support.

Minnesota’s “Must Do” Sits on a Department of Revenue Bookshelf​

Now is absolutely the time for a long-ignored 2011 report from the Department of Revenue to get some renewed attention.

September 01, 2020

July / August 2020

Is the Fourth Time A Charm? 

Following the 2020 regular session and three special sessions, the state remains in a holding pattern with respect to a tax bill, a bonding bill, and budget repair.   With November elections looming and the clock ticking on the 91st Minnesota Legislature, legislative action – or lack thereof – in the next special session will have a lot to say about the state’s fiscal and political future.

Banking on “A Superior Form of Capitalism”

For over two decades Minnesota public pensions plans’ investments in private equity have delivered the outsized investment returns needed to meet Minnesota’s defined benefit plans’ high return expectations.  In today’s persistent low interest rate environment, the demand for private equity is greater than ever.  But all is not well in Camelot.