October economic update shows higher state revenues, but mixed news on economic growth

The recently released October Revenue and Economic Update gave us mixed news about the state’s economic and budget landscape. The quarterly report from Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) showed that the state revenues have come in higher than anticipated. It also reports that the national economy is expected to grow in the near term, but then that growth will taper off over the next few years.

Some of the top takeaways from the Update include:

1. State revenues for the most recent quarter came in above projections. The state’s revenues for July to September came in $282 million above projections; that’s 5.9 percent more than projected in the state’s February 2018 Economic Forecast. The increase is a result of a variety of factors, including higher income and corporate taxes received, as well as a higher than expected surplus in a state workers’ compensation fund.

2. State revenues for the past fiscal year came in slightly above projections. The state’s revenues for FY 2018, which ended on June 30, came in $376 million above projections, or 1.7 more than was projected in the February forecast.

3. Long-term economic growth is expected to be lower. The national economic forecasters predict stronger national GDP growth for 2018. The October update predicts 2.9 percent growth in 2018, up from the 2.7 percent predicted in February. In 2019, growth is projected to be 2.8 percent, very similar to the 2.7 percent anticipated in February. However, growth is then expected to slow to 1.6 percent by 2021. The slower growth in 2020 and beyond is due to several factors, including the effects of the new tariffs between the U.S. and China.

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4. National unemployment rate expected to remain low. Nationally, unemployment was 3.7 percent in September, and is expected to drop to 3.5 percent on average in 2019. Job growth has slowed slightly, with the economy adding around 134,000 jobs in September, compared to the average of 200,000 jobs per month earlier this year. This slowdown is expected to be a temporary effect of Hurricane Florence, which hit the Southeast coast in September.

5. Forecasters are fairly confident in their projections. The forecasters assign a 60 percent chance that their baseline forecast is correct. They also give a 25 percent chance for a more pessimistic scenario in which there’s a recession starting next year, and assign a 15 percent probability to a more optimistic scenario.

The next legislative session starts in just a few months, and policymakers will need to put together the state’s next two-year budget. In early December, we’ll see the state’s November Budget and Economic Forecast, which will give us an updated and more complete picture of what resources will be available as policymakers and the public engage in next year’s budget debate.

After the conclusion of this past legislative session, we estimated that the state could expect a surplus of about $300 million for FY 2020-21. The increased revenues measured in this week’s economic update suggest that number could get larger by the time the November economic forecast comes out. However, the lower expected economic growth in the longer term could also dampen future revenues.

-Clark Goldenrod

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Now is the time to say no to a new rule that would increase hardship for New Americans

A proposed federal rule would make it harder for New Americans on their path to citizenship and folks moving to the country to thrive and to fully contribute to our communities. This proposal doesn’t match our Minnesota values, and it is important to make your voice heard.

Today begins a 60-day public comment period on the rule that would greatly expand how “public charge” is determined in the future, and would ultimately harm families trying to put a roof over their head or buy groceries to feed growing kids.

This rule would judge the value of New Americans by how much money they have, rather than how they live their lives and contribute to their communities.

Federal policymakers need to hear from you that this isn’t the direction we want for our country. See our action alert with directions on how to add your voice.

For more details about the proposed rule and the damage it would do, read our earlier blog.

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We’re Hiring a Policy Advocate and a Communications Intern

For more than 20 years, the Minnesota Budget Project has worked toward a vision for Minnesota in which a fair tax system raises enough revenue to fund our priorities as a state, and economic policies ensure opportunity is available to all. We do it through analysis, advocacy, and strategic communications, and currently have two open positions on our team.

Policy Advocate:

The Minnesota Budget Project is seeking a Policy Advocate to work on economic security issues, including affordable health care and child care.

This an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in producing compelling analysis, exploring policy solutions, and engaging with state and national partners in support of policies that expand opportunity and economic security to all Minnesotans, particularly Minnesotans with low incomes.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; apply by October 23 for the strongest consideration. Learn more about the position and how to apply here.

Communications Intern: 

You: Inspired to create change in your community, and looking to contribute your skills and gain experience in promoting public policies that impact Minnesotans with low incomes and communities of color.

Us: The Minnesota Budget Project is a leading voice advocating for affordable health care, affordable child care, and progressive tax policy in Minnesota.

We’re hiring a part-time communications intern for the 2019 Minnesota Legislative Session. This is a paid position focused on creating digital and public engagement strategies for our current policy agenda. Learn more about the job, and submit your cover letter and resume online by Friday, October 26.

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New federal rule would increase hardship among New Americans

This weekend, draft language for a new “public charge” rule was released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This rule would make it harder for New Americans on their path to citizenship and folks moving to the country to thrive and to fully contribute to our communities and the economy.

This draft rule judges the value of New Americans by how much money they have, rather than how they live their lives and contribute to their communities. Currently, when people apply to adjust their immigration status, like applying for a “green card” that allows New Americans to live and work in the U.S., the government determines whether that person has “public charge” status. This status is based on a number of factors, including age, health, family status, financial status, and skills, but also includes use or potential use of public supports. Under current policy, only two types of supports are counted to determine “public charge” status: cash assistance (like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF) and use of long-term care facilities. The same process occurs when people apply to move to the U.S. Having “public charge” status can make individuals ineligible to come to the United States or receive a green card.

The new rule would greatly expand how “public charge” is determined in the future and would harm families trying to put a roof over their head or buy groceries to feed growing kids. The draft rule proposes adding supports like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), housing assistance, and Medicaid health insurance to the list of services considered in evaluating “public charge” status. Additionally, while it is not in the current rule, DHS has expressed interest in also including the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The new rule also would require that New Americans earn at least 125 percent of the poverty line to not be negatively affected by the “public charge” determination. The rule would also adopt a threshold of 250 percent of the poverty line (or almost $63,000 for a household of four) for a family to receive a favorable consideration. For context, around 40 percent of people living in the United States earn less than this standard. People often move to the United States in search of greater economic opportunity, but the rule sends the message that only New Americans who already have money and resources are welcome.

The new rule goes against our country’s basic values. Our government has long held that certain supports, such as those that improve health, should be available to everyone who needs them. The rule also ignores how New Americans are contributing to our communities, as our neighbors who work, pay taxes, and learn alongside us. But the new rule abandons this logic and explicitly recognizes that it may “increase the poverty of certain families and children, including U.S. citizen children.”

This rule would likely create confusion around who can access basic supports that many of us turn to in times of need. Those harmed include the New Americans who are unsure whether they can still qualify for basic services, like food and housing assistance, as well as many children who might not get the supports they need to remain healthy and succeed in school. And New American families are already dropping off certain supports in response to concerns about these changes.

This new proposed rule further continues a pattern of federal lawmakers prioritizing those who are already doing well in today’s economy. For example, late last year federal policymakers passed a large tax bill that overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and profitable corporations. These tax cuts have increased the federal deficit, and since then, purportedly in response to the increased deficit, President Donald Trump and the U.S. House have proposed funding cuts that would increase hardship and poverty across the nation. The new proposed rule is the latest step that would further pull out the rug from families who are trying to make ends meet. Additionally, the rule would disproportionately affect people of color, who are more likely to come to the United States through the primary process subject to public charge determination.

This proposed rule is a mistake. New Americans are vital contributors to our communities, and they should be able to receive basic supports so that they can thrive and build our economy. The draft rule is expected to be included in the Federal Register in the next few weeks, perhaps as early as tomorrow. You will have an opportunity to have your concerns heard by making a comment on this proposal; we’ll post information about how to do so once the comment period is open.

-Clark Goldenrod

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Plans to cut federal economic security programs take aim at wrong target

Federal investments in family economic security – including stable housing, nutritious food, affordable health care, education and training, and boosting family incomes through tax credits, among other things – keep millions of families out of poverty and reduce the severity of poverty for millions more. But calls by some to cut these investments in the name of deficit reduction are off the mark. Aside from health care, federal spending in these areas is declining compared to the overall economy, according to a recent report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Many supports for lower-income people and families are designed to grow when the economy is doing poorly and more Americans fall on tough times, and then shrink when the economy is doing well. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities took a look at spending that supports family economic security, and found that during the Great Recession, federal spending on these services grew to meet the needs of more people who were struggling to find work and make ends meet.

The spending bubble from the recession has disappeared. Compared to the economy as a whole, federal spending on nutritious food, stable housing, cash assistance, and more is shrinking.

The exception is health care, where growth reflects broader health care trends. Health care investments, such as in Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and others, allow kids, people with disabilities, and workers who don’t get health insurance through their job to see doctors and get medication they need to be healthy. While public health care costs are projected to continue to rise over the next 10 years, the increase will be slower than previous decades.

Since 2010, overall spending on investments in family security has been falling as a percentage of the economy. The increase in health care spending has been more than cancelled out by the decreased fed-spending-on-entitlementsspending for other low-income supports. This year, federal spending on these investments, as a share of the economy, will be below what it was before the recession started, and almost equal to the 40-year average level of spending. Federal spending on investments in family security is projected to continue to fall over the next 10 years.

The proposed cuts to these investments, including in President Donald Trump’s budget and the recently approved House Budget Resolution, would create increased hardship and poverty across the nation. Their arguments that cuts to these investments is needed to address the growing federal deficit ignores the fact that federal investments in these areas are declining. Instead, what has contributed to the recent steep increase in the federal deficit is the federal tax bill passed late last year. Lawmakers failed to fully pay for the bill’s tax cuts, which went predominantly to profitable corporations and wealthy individuals and families. The resulting drop in revenues harms the nation’s ability to fund essential services and respond to future economic downturns. And cutting supports for struggling families isn’t going to fill the budget gap caused by the federal tax bill.

For many people, investments in economic security can make the difference between hunger and healthy meals, or between a roof over their heads or a life on the street. Blaming these important investments for the growing national debt has to stop.

-Sarah Orange

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More new Census data shows Minnesota’s prosperity isn’t reaching all Minnesotans

The U.S. Census released more new data today indicating that the economic recovery continues to boost Minnesotans’ incomes. But the strides Minnesota has made in prosperity isn’t reaching all Minnesotans. Communities of color, workers earning lower wages, and others who face barriers to work are being left out of the broader economy’s success.

Minnesota continues to outperform the national figures in terms of economic well-being. In 2017, the income of the median Minnesota household increased to $68,388, more than $8,000 above the national level. The share of Minnesotans living in poverty, 9.5 percent, is also well below the national figure of 13.4. Today’s figures show how far Minnesotans have come since just after the Great Recession in 2011, when the median household income was $62,210 in today’s dollars.

Minnesota’s poverty rate is fourth lowest in the nation. Minnesota’s higher incomes and lower poverty come in part because of our investments in policies that lift up more Minnesotans and allow them to thrive in today’s economy. These policies include boosting the income of workers and families struggling to make ends meet through the Working Family Tax Credit, expanding opportunities for affordable health care through Medicaid and MinnesotaCare, and increasing Minnesota’s minimum wage. However, more needs to be done to break down barriers and make sure all Minnesotans, no matter their race or ethnicity, can participate in Minnesota’s economic prosperity.

This year’s Census data shows that Minnesotans of color are more likely to be left out of the economic gains that the topline numbers show. Communities of color face systemic barriers that make it harder to get ahead. In many communities of color, parents have limited access to the affordable child care they need to work, or reliable transportation to get to work on time or even get groceries back home. The historical roots of these barriers, such as restricting people of color to live in particular geographic areas and then failing to invest in those neighborhoods, means it’s all the more important to address these barriers and ensure all Minnesotans have the ability to succeed.

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The Census data reflects these structural challenges: while 9.5 percent of Minnesotans lived below the federal poverty line in 2017, Minnesotans of color experienced poverty at much higher rates. One in four Black Minnesotans had incomes below the poverty line; for a family of four with two children that means living on less than $24,858. But only one in 15 white, non-Hispanic Minnesotans faced that same situation, highlighting the fact that some in our state don’t have the same opportunities to succeed.

The good news is that there are policies that can help more Minnesotans share in our state’s economic success. Investments in policies that break down the structural barriers many communities of color face and boost the incomes of everyday Minnesotans will move our state toward greater economic prosperity.

-Sarah Orange

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New Census data highlights Minnesota’s long-term progress in health coverage and the need to continue to invest

All Minnesotans deserve the opportunity to live healthy lives and get the treatment they need for asthma, diabetes, or a broken bone. According to new U.S. Census data, in 2017 fewer Minnesotans had health insurance, meaning more Minnesotans were not able to get the care they need to thrive. Minnesota has been a national leader in health care, even prior to Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), because of state investments in affordable health care and the well-being of our residents. However, this decline in coverage comes at a time when investment in health care is under threat at both the state and federal levels.

In 2017, 4.4 percent of Minnesotans went without health insurance at some point during the year, compared to last year when 4.1 percent of Minnesota were uninsured. This is substantially lower than the 8.2 percent of Minnesotans who didn’t have health insurance for at least part of the year in 2013, the year before the total roll out of the Affordable Care Act. While Minnesota’s uninsurance ranking is fourth best in the nation, we need to build on this progress.

Affordable health care allows Minnesotans, their families, and their communities to thrive. Children with health care coverage perform better in school. Health insurance allows workers to stay healthy and succeed at work. More people with health coverage also reduces strains on the health care system: fewer people struggle with medical debt and health care providers see a reduction in uncompensated care.

Unfortunately, over the past two years, Congress has considered multiple proposals to cut federal funding and consumer protections in health care. These proposals would threaten the health coverage of over one million Minnesotans who are able to see doctors and get their prescriptions filled through Medical Assistance, Minnesota’s Medicaid program, or MinnesotaCare, which provides affordable coverage for Minnesotans paid low wages. Cutting affordable health care options would move Minnesota backward.

Looming cuts to health care are also threatened at the state level. In 2019, policymakers must act to extend the Provider Tax, a significant funding source for affordable health care options and other important programs that help Minnesotans stay healthy. If not, this funding will disappear and many Minnesotans’ health coverage could come under threat. Now is not the time to cut state investments in Minnesotans’ health.

Importantly, investments through the ACA and Minnesota’s smart policy choices have allowed folks who traditionally have been left on the fringes of the health care system such as people of color, low-wage and part-time workers, people with pre-existing conditions, and others struggling to make ends meet, to see doctors and get the care they need to stay healthy. Despite the progress Minnesota has made, these communities still face significant barriers to getting treatment for their critical health needs.

Today’s Census data reflects Minnesota’s strong historical investment in health care. Now is the time to build on these successes.

-Sarah Orange

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New U.S. House budget proposal gives peek into policymakers’ vision for the future

How do you spend your money? It’s a deeply personal question – in a world of limited resources, what you choose to buy or forgo is often a reflection of what you value, how much you value it, and where you want to see yourself in the future. This principle holds true in Washington D.C. as well. When policymakers come out with budget proposals, it reflects their values and priorities for the nation, and their vision for the future. So in June, when the House Budget Committee passed a Budget Resolution to cut $6.5 trillion over 10 years, with significant cuts to important supports for families trying to make ends meet, policymakers gave their constituents a preview of what they value and where they see the nation in the future.

Budget Resolutions are intended to create a blueprint for federal government spending and revenue over a particular time period. While Budget Resolutions are not binding decisions, they can set the stage for significant changes in tax or spending laws.

Take last year for example. Congress passed the Concurrent Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2018, which ultimately set the stage for the federal tax bill. That Resolution allowed the tax bill to move with only partisan support on an expedited timeline. The bill resulted in substantial changes in the U.S. tax code, largely favoring profitable corporations and high-income individuals and families. But it left out provisions that would have prioritized the millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet and failed to pay for the tax cuts contained in the bill.

The recently proposed House Budget Resolution would pay for those tax cuts through reductions to important programs that make it possible for people to have food on the table or go to the doctor. The proposal includes:

  • $2.1 trillion over 10 years in cuts to health care that will harm people who see doctors through Medicaid, individuals who buy health insurance on the individual market, seniors who rely on Medicare, and folks with pre-existing conditions;
  • $17 billion over 10 years in cuts through the elimination of the Social Services Block Grant that funds child and adult care services, home-delivered meals, employment supports, and adoption services;
  • $923 billion over 10 years in cuts to income security programs including food assistance that helps keep nutritious food on the table for kids, parents, seniors, and others who can’t afford basic necessities; and cash assistance that helps people buy diapers or fill up their tank with gas so they can make it to work; and
  • An expansion of paperwork requirements in food assistance, cash assistance, and Medicaid, making it harder for folks to get food, stay healthy, and afford the basics.

Our communities are stronger and more prosperous when we and our neighbors are succeeding. Investments that provide breakfast for growing kids and doctors’ visits for people fighting cancer matter to all of us. But the vision put forward in the Budget Resolution creates a false choice between supporting our friends and neighbors when they hit a rough patch and protecting our economy. Let’s not fall into that trap. Let’s instead make the choice to invest in our communities so that everyone has a chance to succeed.

-Sarah Orange

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Minnesota’s July economic update shows higher state revenues, but mixed economic news

The recently released July Revenue and Economic Update gave us mixed news about the state’s economic and budget landscape. The quarterly report from Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) showed that the state revenues for the past fiscal year have come in on track. It also reports that the national economy is expected to grow in the near term, but then that growth will taper off over the next few years.

Some of the top takeaways from the Update include:

1. State revenues are coming in above projections. A preliminary look at the state’s revenues for FY 2018, which ended on June 30, shows they came in $348 million above projections; that’s 1.6 percent more than projected in the state’s February 2018 Economic Forecast. The increase is primarily due to higher income taxes received. A complete picture of FY 2018 revenues will be in the October update.

2. Long-term economic growth is expected to be lower. The national economic forecasters predict stronger national GDP growth for 2018, from the 2.7 percent predicted in February to 3.0 percent in the July update. In 2019, growth is projected to be the same as anticipated in February at 2.7 percent. However, growth is then expected to slow to 1.4 percent by 2021. This change in projected future economic growth is due to several factors, including the fading impact of stimulus from the federal tax bill passed last year, and the effects of the new tariffs between the U.S. and China.

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3. National unemployment rate expected to remain low. Nationally, unemployment was 4.0 percent in June, and is expected to drop to 3.4 percent in 2019. Job growth has been steady, with the economy adding around 200,000 jobs per month this year.

4. Forecasters are fairly confident in their projections. The forecasters assign a 65 percent chance that their baseline forecast is correct. They also give a 20 percent chance for a more pessimistic scenario in which there’s a short recession next year, and assign a 15 percent probability to a more optimistic scenario.

Next legislative session, policymakers will need to put together the state’s next two-year budget. After the conclusion of this past legislative session, we estimated that we could expect a surplus of about $300 million for the next biennium. The increased revenues in this week’s economic update suggest that number could get larger by the time the next full economic forecast comes out this winter. However, there’s some data in this report that causes us concern; the lower economic growth in the longer term could substantially dampen future revenues.

The next quarterly update will be in October, right before the state’s November Budget and Economic Forecast, which will give us an updated picture of what resources will be available as policymakers and the public engage in next year’s budget debate.

-Clark Goldenrod

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2018 Legislative Session: What was accomplished, and what’s left for next year

The 2018 Legislative Session opened with some major tasks on policymakers’ to-do lists. By tradition, this was a year when policymakers normally put together a capital investment package, commonly called the “bonding bill”, that invests in infrastructure projects across the state. More unexpectedly, the December 2017 passage of the federal tax overhaul raised substantial questions on how to update the state’s tax code in accordance with Minnesota values of fairness and fiscal responsibility. And a projected $329 million surplus created opportunity to make state investments this year, in addition to those made in the two-year state budget passed last year.

However, when the three months of the legislative session came to an end, the Legislature and Governor Mark Dayton reached agreement on only one of the three major items. A bonding bill was passed, authorizing $1.6 billion in projects including transportation, higher education infrastructure, water quality, and affordable housing. But intense disagreement in priorities between Dayton and the Legislature resulted in no final agreement on either budget or tax issues.

The contrasting priorities between policymakers are seen in how they would use the projected budget surplus. The Legislature allocated more than half of the surplus to tax cuts and additional transportation spending, while the governor proposed putting the largest portion of the surplus to education. The Legislature’s final offers to Dayton were contained in a nearly 1,000-page supplemental budget bill and in a tax bill, both of which the governor vetoed.

We often look at state policy decisions through the lens of whether they build broader prosperity and improve the lives of Minnesotans across the state. By this measure, the outcomes of the 2018 Legislative Session are a mixed bag. Important opportunities to support Minnesotans striving toward economic security were lost. At the same time, harmful proposals that would have put up new roadblocks were stopped. Below are some examples that represent both the opportunities lost and harm prevented to Minnesotans’ ability to get by and get ahead.

Health care: Among the harmful proposals stopped was one to erect new reporting requirements, which would likely result in more than 20,000 Minnesotans who participate in Medicaid losing their health care. But a major lost opportunity was that the Legislature failed to take action to maintain the provider tax, an important funding source for affordable health care for about 90,000 Minnesotans that otherwise will expire in 2020. With this deadline looming, this will be a critical issue for policymakers to address next year. (Additional coverage of health and human services issues are covered in another blog post.)

Family economic security: A disappointing lost opportunity was that family-friendly improvements to the state’s Child Care Assistance Program supported by both the Legislature and Dayton will not be implemented this year. These proposals would have helped families maintain their child care even as they faced various changes and challenges, and would have increased funding for child care providers. This is another issue the state will need to pick up next year: Minnesota is out of compliance with federal standards and may face a financial penalty. Another harmful proposal prevented by the governor’s veto was a redundant verification system that would have erected new barriers to struggling Minnesotans accessing health care, child care, or food assistance.

Wage standards: A positive for working people is that a proposal to penalize certain tipped workers by freezing their minimum wages, which had been included in earlier bills, was not included in the final supplemental budget that the Legislature sent to the governor.

Transportation: There is broad agreement on the need to invest in the state’s transportation system, but fierce disagreement about which modes of transportation and how to fund them. Road and bridge projects make up a significant part of the bonding bill, but those Minnesotans who rely on transit to get around were largely left out. The Legislature’s proposed constitutional amendment to increase funding for transportation passed the House but did not make it through the Senate. This amendment, if approved by the voters, would have diverted funding that currently is available for other priorities like education, higher education, and economic development.

Education: While legislators proposed additional funding for Minnesota’s schools, their overall education investments were far below what the governor proposed. Dayton proposed investing $169 million in K-12 Education, including $138 million in one-time emergency funding to fill budget deficits for schools throughout the state through an increase to the basic student formula, as well as funding for pre-kindergarten and special education. The Legislature proposed $28 million in their education budget, primarily for school safety, and $50 million in one-time school funding in their final tax bill. Because of the lack of a final agreement on the budget or tax bills, the only additional education funding enacted this year was some school safety funding in the bonding bill.

Taxes: If the state acted to simply conform to federal tax changes, Minnesotans – including families with children, seniors, and people with disabilities – could have seen tax increases. By the end of session, it appeared policymakers had agreed on an approach to updating the income tax for individuals and families that would have prevented these increases. But there was strong disagreement about what kinds of tax cuts to enact and who would benefit from them. The Legislature’s tax bill would have raised taxes on the most struggling Minnesotans over time, which would help pay for tax cuts that benefit others who were better off. Dayton’s tax plan made working people and their families the priority for tax cuts, for example, through a proposed expansion of the Working Family Credit. Updating the tax code will be another issue policymakers will need to tackle next year. In the meantime, many Minnesota individuals and families will see the amount of income taxes they pay basically unchanged, but the process for filing will be more complicated. But by vetoing the Legislature’s tax bill, Dayton prevented changes that would have made the tax system less fair and would have undermined funding that supports our schools, nursing homes, public safety, and other essential community services.

Infrastructure: The bonding bill invests in things like transportation, higher education infrastructure, and water quality. Importantly, it includes $90 million in bonds for affordable housing, and a vital $28 million for mental health crisis centers, which provide emergency shelter for people with behavioral health needs. The bonding bill also includes $25 million for school safety; unfortunately, some of those dollars come out of the state’s budget reserve, weakening the state’s “rainy day fund” that Minnesotans count on during economic downturns or other budget shocks.

Policymakers will have the opportunity once again next year to invest in Minnesotans as they put together the state’s next two year budget, and another crack at many of the issues they wrestled with this session. Under current economic and budget projections, Minnesota will have roughly about a $300 million projected surplus at the start of the next biennium. We’ll be advocating for wise investments in a broader prosperity that reaches all Minnesotans.

-Clark Goldenrod and Nan Madden

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