In early 2010, as the State of Minnesota and its citizens faced the impact of a profound budget shortfall, a collaboration of five foundations - Bush, Minneapolis, Northwest Area, Minnesota and Saint Paul - contracted with an experienced expert on solving public problems, Public Strategies Group (PSG), to suggest ways to move through this period of challenge and, perhaps, change things for the better in the long term. The result was Minnesota's Bottom Line.
The ideas in the report focus on how to provide government services but spend less during a time of a severe budget shortfall. It includes ways to improve the health of citizens, meet the needs of vulnerable children and families, improve housing outcomes, deliver better county services, preserve or improve the health of the elderly and low-income populations, ensure public safety and improve educational outcomes for those with disabilities.
In early 2011, the foundations came together again to ask PSG to craft a proposal to the Minnesota Legislature based on their findings in Minnesota's Bottom Line. This proposal, Beyond the Bottom Line, offers specific suggestions for reforming and redesigning the way states and counties provide services to cities and how they pay for these services.
While much remains unresolved about Minnesota's economic future, these reports have spurred far-reaching conversations among citizens and lawmakers.