Decades-high inflation taking a big bite out of Minnesota budget surplus

JANUARY 5, 2022 | MINNESOTA REFORMER | by Ricardo Lopez

By Ricardo Lopez, includes “The November Minnesota state budget and economic forecast painted a rosy picture of the state’s finances: lawmakers have an expected $7.7 billion budget surplus, the largest surplus the state has ever forecasted. ”

New study measures financial transparency among state governments

NOVEMBER 16, 2021


Financial Transparency Score 2021

NOVEMBER 16, 2021

To encourage the publication of transparent and accurate government financial information, Truth in Accounting has created a transparency score for financial reporting by the states. 

Minnesota snags ‘B’ grade for fiscal health

OCTOBER 15, 2021 | SOUTHERNMINN.COM | by Scott McClallen

By Scott McClallen (The Center Square), includes “A financial watchdog ranked Minnesota 11th in the nation and stamped a ‘B’ grade on the state for its current fiscal health. The Financial State of the States report from the nonprofit government watchdog Truth in Accounting (TIA) found that Minnesota is only one of 11 states with enough money to pay its bills, leaving every Minnesotan with a taxpayer surplus of $200.”

Majority of state finances worsened during beginning of pandemic

SEPTEMBER 28, 2021


Financial State of the States 2021

SEPTEMBER 28, 2021

Truth in Accounting's twelfth annual Financial State of the States report, a nationwide analysis of the most recent state government financial information.

Clashes over taxes, policing, emergency powers stymie budget talks at Minnesota capitol

MAY 10, 2021 | MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE | by Jessie Van Berkel, Briana Bierschback

By Jessie van Berkel and Briana Bierschback, includes “It was always going to be a heavy lift: Set the next state budget with a politically divided government and vastly opposing views on taxes and government spending.”

With positive state budget forecast, support working families, leave no one behind


Op-ed by state senator Jen McEwen, includes “The latest budget forecast from the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget projects a positive budget balance of $1.6 billion in the upcoming biennium, thanks largely to an improved U.S. economic outlook strengthened by federal aid. … .” 

Pension obligation bonds are a bad idea


There have been recent rumblings (see, March 2020) that states and municipalities should resolve their pension funding woes by issuing Pension Obligation Bonds (POBs). Our work leads us to the opposite conclusion — POBs are a bad idea, regardless of the level of interest rates. Although POBs resolve short-term funding issues, they do not resolve the fundamental longer-term governance issues that plague US Public Defined Benefit Plans.

Thirty-nine states ill-prepared for coronavirus pandemic

SEPTEMBER 22, 2020

The 2020 Financial State of the States report surveys the fiscal health of the 50 states prior to the coronavirus pandemic. This data is released today by Truth in Accounting (TIA), a think tank that analyzes government financial reporting.

Minnesota nonprofits call on Congress to approve state aid

AUGUST 25, 2020 | DULUTH NEWS-TRIBUNE (MINNESOTA) | by Matthew Guery

Officials from several prominent Minnesota-based nonprofit organizations on Monday, Aug. 24, called on U.S. lawmakers to approve additional coronavirus relief funds for states whose finances have been battered by the pandemic.

State general revenue shortfall projections

JUNE 1, 2020 | by Bill Bergman, Sheila Weinberg

How large could the shortfall in state government general revenues be, amidst the coronavirus and related crises? 

States and cities continue to plunge into financial black hole


State and local officials are well aware that they face the most dire fiscal circumstances in decades. They still don't know just how bad it will be.

Minnesota Rep. Angie Craig’s bill on payment reforms lands on Trump’s desk


President Donald Trump is poised to clear payment-reform legislation backed by Minnesota U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, a Democrat in a suburban swing district that has been targeted by his administration over the past year.

How bad is Minnesota’s student-debt situation?

MAY 14, 2019 | MINNPOST | by Greta Kaul

“Last month, Massachusetts Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren released a student-debt plan that would forgive up to $50,000 in student loans for people with household incomes less than $100,000, forgive less in loans for those who make more and make public higher education free. Not everyone agrees it’s a good idea. …”

House passes $1 billion in new taxes despite already record high tax revenue

MAY 1, 2019 | MINNESOTA WATCHDOG | by Bethany Blankley

Included in the Omnibus Transportation Finance Bill (HF1555) approved Monday night by the Minnesota House is more than $1 billion in gas tax increases, sales taxes and licensing fees to pay for infrastructure improvements.

Report: Twin Cities receive C grades for fiscal health

FEBRUARY 15, 2019 | THE NEIGHBOR (MINNESOTA) | by Bethany Blankley

By the end of Fiscal Year 2017, 63 large cities did not have enough money to pay all of their bills, the report states, meaning debts outweigh revenue.

By the numbers: Minnesota receives 'C' grade on national ranking of states' fiscal health


"Minnesota was found to be short $9.7 billion to pay its bills, according to the analysis by TIA, which is a Chicago-based nonprofit that reports on fiscal data from state and local governments."

Budget forecast: Minnesota has a $1.5 billion surplus


Minnesota will have a projected $1.5 billion surplus for the next two-year budget period, state officials announced Thursday, setting the stagefor a spirited debate over taxes and spending in the legislative session that starts in January.

More steps must be taken to reduce risks in Minnesota’s public pension system

AUGUST 22, 2018 | MINNPOST | by Kurt Winkelmann

A $16 billion hole in the pension plans for Minnesota public employees got a timely patch in May when recently enacted legislation cut the deficit in half.

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