Minnesota Report

Since 2002, under the Administration of Governor Jesse Ventura (I-MN) Budget Forecasts have not included inflation and have largely been a misrepresentations of the true cost of of Minnesota government. In her bill, HF150 Rep Jennifer Schultz (DFL-07A, Duluth) calls for “Inflation rate inclusion in state forecast required.”

This would be a significant change in the forecasting process, because of recent history, but no untoward. In her non-legislative job Schultz teaches Economics at a the University of Minnesota, Duluth and this honest change seems worthy. The problems is Republicans in the Senate may see things far differently because collectively Republicans believe inclusion of inflation in projected spending “ puts government on autopilot” and obligates future legislatures to specific spending figures. Ironically, they do include inflation on the revenue side of the equation.

We suggest a valued compromise to be the reporting of two figures, one with and the other without inflation by the forecasting company employed by the MInnesota Management & Budget Office. The order of the reporting should be published as we stipulated and the debate over what the figures mean globally can be discussed with complete disclosure infinitum.