In the hubbub of the closing days of the 2007 session, you may have missed that the legislature created a State Budget Trends Study Commission, made up of economics experts of various sorts and tasked with figuring out the key factors that cause instability in Minnesota’s state budget. By January 15, 2009, they will recommend changes to Minnesota’s tax and budget system to reduce that budget volatility. This could mean an expanded sales tax, for example. It’s a very important topic with far-reaching implications. I should note that the Commission has made it clear it wants to stay away from recommending specific funding levels for programs – they will leave that to the state legislature.
The Commission recently submitted a preliminary report to the state legislature, which lays out the monthly schedule of meetings and topics, as well as overall goals and criteria for policy recommendations. The Commission is chaired by former Finance Commissioner Jay Kiedrowksi and Former Commissioner of Human Services Kevin Goodno.
The Commission meets monthly and is absolutely worth going to (or reading our blog to stay updated).