The Minnesota Budget Project, an initiative of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, provides independent research, analysis and advocacy on budget and tax issues, emphasizing their impact on low- and moderate-income Minnesotans and the organizations that serve them. Our mission is to provide interested citizens, elected officials and community leaders with timely and accurate information so that they can become more active and effective participants in the state and federal public policy debates.
The Minnesota Budget Bites blog is our way to highlight important information in a very timely way. Our goal is to keep Minnesotans who are interested in fair tax policy and good budget choices educated on the issues. We want you to know, what we know, when we know it.
About the current contributors:
Clark Biegler is the Minnesota Budget Project’s policy analyst. She researches and writes about state tax and budget issues. Clark has worked at several Washington, D.C. think tanks, most recently the DC Fiscal Policy Institute. She holds a Master of Public Policy degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.; and a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from Tulane University in New Orleans.
Leah Gardner joined the Minnesota Budget Project in February 2009. Serving as outreach coordinator, she currently supports the Invest in Minnesota campaign uniting faith, labor and nonprofit organizations around fair revenue-raising principles. Her background in the nonprofit community includes direct service to low-income families, fundraising, public policy and public relations work to support a statewide initiative to end homelessness. Leah holds a B.A. in business from the University of St. Thomas and her M.A. in public policy from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.
Ben Horowitz is a policy advocate at the Minnesota Budget Project, focusing on advancing policies to expand opportunity and economic security to all Minnesotans. He holds a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University and an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.
Nan Madden has been the director of the Minnesota Budget Project since 1999. Nan oversees the Minnesota Budget Project’s research, analysis and capacity-building efforts. She has extensive public policy experience on tax, budget and economic self-sufficiency issues. Nan has an M.A. from the University of Denver and a B.A. from Macalester College.
Laura Mortenson joined the Minnesota Budget Project in November 2014 as its communications manager. She manages media relations and oversees communications outreach to promote the research and advocacy efforts of the team. Her professional background includes media relations, speech writing and public relations for a variety of state and local government officials and organizations. Laura has a degree in journalism from UW-Eau Claire.
Katherine Blauvelt served as the Minnesota Budget Project’s policy analyst from 2007 to 2009, analyzing both federal and state tax and budget issues. She has a background in both community organizing and policy research. Katherine earned a Masters in Public Policy at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor and her B.A. from Oberlin College.
Barb Brady served as the Minnesota Budget Project’s communications manager. She has been a communications professional for more than 15 years, including the Wisconsin Education Association Council and the Pennsylvania State Education Association. Barb started her career as a news reporter in Wisconsin.
Beth Haney, a freelance project manager and research consultant, worked with the Minnesota Budget Project on special projects related to the 2009 Minnesota Legislative Session. Formerly, she was the director of research and outreach at the Minnesota office of the Children’s Defense Fund. Beth earned her Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Minnesota and her B.A. at Wesleyan University.
Steve Francisco is a former federal policy director for the Minnesota Budget Project. Steve earned his political science and law degrees from the University of Minnesota.
Scott Russell is a former Minnesota Budget Project policy analyst. Prior to joining the Minnesota Budget Project in 2009, Scott was a reporter for MinnPost, The Capitol Times in Wisconsin, and the Southwest Journal/Downtown Journal in Minneapolis.
Christina Wessel served as the Minnesota Budget Project’s deputy director until January 2014. Christina holds a B.A. from Wheaton College and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota.