The quiet defeat of proposed constitutional budget amendments averts a serious threat to Minnesota’s ability to make common-sense budget decisions and provide critical services to residents.
The Legislature adjourned without taking votes on any of them. The amendment receiving the most public attention would have a required a supermajority vote of the Legislature to raise state taxes.
The proposed amendments posed the most serious threat to the state’s ability to fund public services and invest in our future in many years. They would have led to more government shutdowns, gridlock and budget gimmicks as policymakers struggled to make decisions in the best interests of the state under the rigid requirements of the amendments.
Concerned Minnesotans and leaders from local government, business, nonprofit, faith and labor organizations made the case to state policymakers and the news media: the constitutional budget amendments were wrong for Minnesota.
The Minnesota Budget Project played a lead role in this collaborative effort. We produced research and analysis demonstrating how the amendments would harm the state’s credit rating, lead to even more cost-shifting to local governments and create pressure on local property taxes, and impede tax reform. We talked about the amendments’ impact with newspaper editorial boards, reporters and groups across the state. The more people heard about the potential effects of the proposals, the more they opposed the amendments.
In the end, legislators were convinced not to take up any of the amendments. That means the state has preserved its flexibility to build a high quality of life and shared prosperity for all Minnesotans.