Envision Minnesota releases report
for new Governor

Governor's Playbook 2010A Playbook for Minnesota’s New Governor

Where and How We Invest Will Shape Minnesota’s Future

From the State Capitol to City Hall, decreased revenues and stubborn unemployment are squeezing budgets. New projects are often put on hold and old programs are being cut back. But even in this austerity, state government will still spend billions of dollars on transportation, economic development, housing, agriculture, conservation, energy, water supply and treatment, and a host of other programs.

These investments need to pull together. It is imperative for state government to coordinate and align its approach to growth and development. Too often, program silos created 50 years ago dictate how and where funding goes. This makes little sense in the 21st century, especially in the current fiscal environment where every dollar counts.

Our next Governor will be able to ensure that Minnesota makes smart and strategic investments so we remain economically competitive, prosperous, fair, and good stewards of the environment. State government will shape development and our natural landscape as Minnesota adds over one million new people in the next twenty years. We must do better.

New report now available

In response to the situation outlined above, a group of partner organizations (listed below), led by Envision Minnesota, prepared a report for the new Minnesota Governor transition team in fall 2010. Download the full report, Investments for a Competitive and Healthy Minnesota.

State Investments Succeed When They Pull Together

Minnesota’s next Governor will have broad authority over much of the state’s investment budget. We need a structure in state government that yields multiple “wins” — in cleaner air, job creation, physical activity, and expanded opportunity — with each state investment. We need every dollar to accomplish more than one goal. Can the dollar spent on transportation also leverage new housing opportunities, jobs for low-skilled workers, enhanced broadband capability, or innovative ways to reduce water pollution? Yes, but only if guided well.

Leadership is needed to ensure that smart and strategic investments will pull together and succeed. This requires a commitment from the Governor and all his top officials to coordinate and align capital spending to produce high returns.

A “pulling together” approach has succeeded in other states when they have:

  1. Specific principles and goals for state development and a vision for how and where the state should grow in the long term.
  2. Criteria that will be used to evaluate state investments based on how they help to achieve the state’s development goals.
  3. A qualified individual who reports directly to the Governor and whose primary responsibility is to ensure coordination of state investments.

Other states have found remarkable ways to save money and increase returns on public-sector investments by coordinating their development dollars. Minnesota can too. Action taken early in a new administration will be the most effective way to make these ideas a reality.

Envision Minnesota | Alliance for Metropolitan Stability | Fresh Energy |
Growth and Justice | ISAIAH | Metropolitan Economic Development Association | Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy | Minnesota Brownfields | Minnesota Housing Partnership | Preservation Alliance of Minnesota | Transit for Livable Communities | Trust for Public Land