Archive for May 2018

Our Top Takeaways from the 2018 Minnesota Legislative Session

The Minnesota House and Senate adjourned late Sunday night, and brought the 2018 legislative session to a close. With Governor Mark Dayton likely to follow through on threats to veto key pieces of legislation, the complete book on the session is still being written.   Here are quick takes from North Star’s three policy experts…

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Minnesota’s Love Affair with Ethanol

Remember the last time you filled up your car at the pump. Did you notice the signage about ethanol? Even if you didn’t, you added to a segment of the Minnesota economy worth over $5 billion, and supported over 12,000 Minnesota jobs in the industry. That ethanol in your gas tank will also contribute less…

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Corporate Tax Cuts Increase Income Inequality

North Star would like to thank Professor Louis Johnston of the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University for critiquing earlier drafts of this article.   Conservatives typically argue that the benefit of corporate tax cuts will trickle down to workers in the form of higher wages. New research published this month indicate that workers do…

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Emergency School Aid Increase in Context

Governor Dayton recently proposed a one-time “emergency aid” increase of $138 million to Minnesota public schools in fiscal year (FY) 2019, in the form of a two percent increase in basic general education formula revenue and selected categorical aid programs. This aid increase would replace a portion of the real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) per pupil school…

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Petroleum Refining in Minnesota

In the aftermath of a fire at the Husky Energy Superior Refinery in Superior, WI, petroleum refining has been in the news recently, with most of the focus on the safety of Minnesota refineries. There are two petroleum refineries in Minnesota and a handful of major pipelines that cross the state from oil-producing regions to…

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So Many Myths, So Little Time

The first installment in this series scratched the surface of the abundant supply of Minnesota economic and fiscal policy myths. This article scratches a little deeper, knocking off three additional myths. Some of these myths are not unique to Minnesota, but all are heard in Gopher State policy debates. And all are false. Myth #1:…

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Debunking Minnesota Economic and Fiscal Policy Myths

Minnesota is a land of 10,000 lakes and almost as many misconceptions about the size of government, growth in public revenue and expenditures, and performance of the state’s economy. Some of these mistaken beliefs are the result of an innocent misreading of the data, while others are the product of deliberate disinformation campaigns. The following…

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How Wind Benefits Minnesotans

Minnesota has been a leader in wind energy generation in the United States over the last two decades. Minnesotans adopted the technology relatively early. In 2017 Minnesota produced the 8th-most in the nation in net generation from wind energy. The wind energy industry provides thousands of good jobs to Minnesotans, cheaper electricity to millions of…

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Tax Triggers: An Unnecessary Fiscal Autopilot

At least officially, Minnesota’s general fund is projected to have a budget surplus in the current and upcoming bienniums. Conservatives have proposed a “tax trigger” that would automatically reduce state individual and corporate income taxes whenever such a surplus occurs. Such proposals are unnecessary, regressive, fiscally irresponsible, and would skew fiscal policy outcomes away from…

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