• Forced to Choose: Places to Watch
    Thousands of Minnesota leaders make tax and spending decisions virtually every week and in every corner of the state. Here are eight communities especially worth keeping an eye on through 2012 and beyond as state fiscal policies, demographic changes and demands for efficiency continue to force hard decisions.December 29, 2011
  • Forced to Choose: Frequently Asked Questions
    A primer on why local governments in Minnesota are feeling pressure and what they're doing about it.December 29, 2011
  • Minnesota scrutinizes 40-year-old 'Miracle'
    A 40-year-old idea that shifted the way Minnesota pays for many local government services -- the "Minnesota Miracle" -- is getting new scrutiny as budgets tighten.December 23, 2011
  • Looking for dollars, Minnesota cities turn to sales tax
    As financial pressures bear down on local governments, an increasing number of cities are trying to turn to the local sales tax as a means of increasing their revenue. The state is looking for fondly on the idea than it used to.December 23, 2011
  • Director fired from commission that oversees environmental spending
    Susan Thornton is out as the director of the Legislative-Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources,December 20, 2011
  • Health coverage required minimum to be set by states
    The Obama Administration said it'll give individual states a major role in determining the minimum benefits health insurers must provide under the federal health care law in 2014.December 17, 2011
  • Drive for efficiency changes look of local government
    A movement is afoot to rethink the way Minnesota's local governments function. More efficient ways to deliver services could mean collaborations to reduce overhead, doing away with services that don't work or even erasing boundaries on the map.December 14, 2011
  • Even policing gets scrutiny as cities scour budgets
    After whittling away at other services, Hendricks and other cities are even asking just how much law enforcement they need. Some of them are choosing to cut law enforcement to save money.December 14, 2011
  • Assessment challenges grow, add to budget pressure
    Property owners are increasingly challenging their assessments in court, adding to the budget pressure on local governments.December 12, 2011
  • Feds to allow use of Medicare data to rate doctors
    Picking a specialist for a delicate medical procedure like a heart bypass could get a lot easier in the not-too-distant future.December 5, 2011
  • Anti-smoking efforts losing effectiveness among teens
    Public health officials are disappointed with new findings that show there has been no significant change in tobacco usage among teenagers during the past few years.December 5, 2011
  • Dayton to counties: No relief in surplus
    Gov. Mark Dayton told leaders of Minnesota's counties today that he's sympathetic to their financial difficulties, but promised no immediate relief.December 5, 2011
  • Health exchange demonstrations online for public review
    Prototypes of possible models for Minnesota's health exchanges are now online and will allow consumers to shop for health coverage, compare health plans, and guide eligible residents through the process of applying for public subsidies.December 5, 2011
  • Making sense of congressional redistricting
    Sixteen-term U.S. Congressman Barney Frank just announced he is not running for reelection in Massachusetts. He says the new lines of his district played a big role in his decision not to run. His statement got us wondering how new maps across the country are affecting the 2012 election.Midmorning, December 2, 2011
  • State leaders temper surprising economic forecast with skepticism
    Many state leaders are reluctant to celebrate today's surprising economic forecast projecting of an $876 million budget surplus, — possibly because the forecast also shows a likely return to red ink in the following cycle.December 1, 2011

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