Minnesota is a great place. Home to 10,000 lakes, the nation’s highest per capita number of Fortune500 companies and an unparalleled civic spirit, Minnesotans can accomplish almost anything with our unique mix of compassion, creativity and ingenuity. Just imagine what could happen if we applied thissame spirit to the state’s structural budget challenges. As six Foundations committed to the future of our state, we have come together to explore this very idea.Our challenge to Minnesota’s decision makers, businesses and citizens is simple:
Imagine Another Way
. Imagine a budgeting conversation that moves beyond the polarized battles of raising taxes versuscutting services. Imagine a thoughtful approach to redesigning our public services that focuses everytax dollar invested to generate the best possible outcomes for Minnesotans, rather than maintainingprocesses designed by past generations for a passed world.The following report,
Beyond the Bottom Line
, offers 16 ideas that could help our state’s leaders do justthat. We commissioned Public Strategies Group to draft these recommendations, which build upon areport of nine redesign ideas suggested in the 2009 report
Minnesota’s Bottom Line
. Each idea offers astarting-point for discussing new ways to think about Minnesota’s budget problems that can offer real,immediate cost savings while preserving the state’s most essential services.We have commissioned these ideas because we recognize that we cannot solve our state’s structuralbudget problems unless leaders of all politics and persuasions are ready to consider new approaches –and no one can do this alone. But we hope that they are a starting point for conversations inMinnesota’s legislature and in communities across the state.Whether leaders embrace one or all of
Beyond the Bottom Line’s
ideas, we hope that they will serve asa clear illustration of the three key principles we hope will guide our state’s budget conversations:
Make Strategic Choices.
Prioritization is a critical element of government redesign, from assessing thehighest public needs to evaluating the best way of providing services.
Governments need to think long-term with their budget challenges, and to be willing to toss outthe old rules and try new program structures and delivery systems.
Deliver Better Outcomes.
Paying for processes and continuing with the current results won’t be enough.Minnesotans want their government to get the greatest possible outcome for every tax dollar they spend
From these principles, we believe Minnesota’s leaders can find a common ground to address our budget challenges with an eye toward the goal we all share: creating the best possible future for allMinnesotans.
Beyond the Bottom Line
Letter from Partners