Our third annual session round-up and guest blogpost for the Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation expresses deep concerns about missed opportunities and misspending on tax cuts in the 2017 legislative session, amid uncertainty around the possible decimation of federal economic security programs. Our analysis of the session impact on our most vulnerable Minnesotans coincides with recent news about a startling decline in state revenues, despite brisk economic growth. A possible factor, according to the Star Tribune: “Expecting a big tax cut from Washington, investors may be delaying taking profits to see if they will get a tax cut. That in turn has lowered revenue here and in other states, and for the U.S. Treasury as well.”
For those following our Minnesota Rural Equity Project, we highly recommend the Minnesota Rural Partners website. The site is rich with numerous links to research, information, new developments in rural Minnesota and America, grant opportunities, and important meetings and convenings. MRP began as one of nearly 40 state rural development councils officially sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a member of the National Rural Development Partnership. For several years, there has been no federal funding for this federal partnership, but MRP, Inc. has maintained a presence as a bridge-building organization between rural and urban communities, organizations, people and issues.
“Minne” -- the prefix for our state’s name and so many other place names -- is the Dakota word for water. The condition of perhaps our most valuable and distinctive natural resource asset _ our lakes, rivers and groundwater _ is inextricably tied to our fortunes and our health. The Center for Rural Policy and Development provides an informative overview of the threats to our water, including our rural infrastructure for wastewater and drinking water systems. The report includes a recommendation that a Legislative Water Commission be re-established.
In last week’s e-news we linked to Lori Sturdevant’s column about a summer conference of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities and we alluded to our presentation and partnership with the coalition. A complete summary of the conference and a segment on our presentation is here. Check out this entertaining Powerpoint by CGMC Executive Director Bradley Peterson about the state’s fiscal health, including the results of a straw poll at the end that showed most CGMC conference participants are pessimistic and concerned about budget shortfalls.
“Today, & all days, we must stand together as one nation against the hatred & racism that attempts to divide us” -- U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minnesota, joining many in GOP who broke ranks with President Trump for equating white supremacists, Nazis and KKK members with civil rights advocates.