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Minnesota Named Best-Run State in the Nation in New Study

12/11/2017 10:41:39 AM

Study highlights Minnesota’s strong fiscal management, low unemployment and poverty rates, above-average median household income, and strong credit rating

Since ranking 10th in 2012, Minnesota has consistently climbed in the same study under Governor Dayton’s leadership on better government reforms

Another recent survey shows a majority of Minnesotans are satisfied with the value they receive from state government

ST. PAUL, MN – Minnesota is the best-run state in the nation, according to a new study from USA Today that cites Minnesota’s strong fiscal management, low unemployment and poverty rates, above-average median household income, and the state’s nearly perfect credit rating. Since ranking tenth in 2012, Minnesota has consistently climbed in the rankings under the same study, including ranking second last year.

“Our Administration has worked hard to make state government work better for the people of Minnesota – and we are not done yet,” said Governor Dayton. “Next session, I will urge the Legislature to work with me to protect the long-term fiscal stability of our state, which is essential for Minnesota’s future. Working together, I know we can deliver even better services, and better value, for the people of Minnesota.”

The study notes that Minnesota’s strong economy and sound fiscal management have allowed the state to save more – approximately ten percent of our annual budget – which is more than most other individual states, and above the average of all states’ savings, which is eight percent. The study also cites Minnesota’s near-perfect credit rating from Moody’s, and our currently stable long-term outlook.

“Minnesotans expect great service and good value from their state government. This is what we work every day to deliver,” said Lt. Governor Smith, who has led state government reform efforts for the Dayton Administration. “Strong fiscal management, along with strategic investments in education and economic opportunity, together have made Minnesota more successful. Minnesotans are doing well, but we have more work to do to ensure everyone has the opportunity to succeed.”
The study also cites Minnesota’s low unemployment and poverty rates. Minnesota’s unemployment rate has been at or below 4 percent for 40-straight months, and recently hit 3.3 percent, the lowest it has been since 2000. Under Governor Dayton’s leadership, Minnesota employers have added more than 290,000 jobs since 2011, and the state has made investments in education every year – no excuses, no exceptions – to grow greater opportunity for all Minnesota families. Wages also are growing in Minnesota, alongside an increase in the minimum wage Governor Dayton championed to keep up with the rising cost of living.

Another recent survey of Minnesotans found that a nearly 60 percent majority of Minnesotans believe government in Minnesota is providing a good value. The same survey found that more than 80 percent of Minnesotans are optimistic about the state’s future, and a majority believe Minnesota is on the right track to address the challenges we may face in the future.

Better Government for a Better Minnesota
Since taking office, Governor Dayton has worked to make state government work better for Minnesotans at lower cost. Below are some examples of how Governor Dayton has built a more efficient, effective and accountable state government for Minnesotans.

  • Making Government Work Better for People – Under Governor Dayton’s leadership, Minnesota has undertaken more than 500 reform projects to streamline processes and save taxpayer money. This includes efforts to better care for veterans, an initiative to reduce document storage costs by 20 percent, and a program at the Pollution Control Agency to reduce contract processing time from 7 months to 3.5 months.

  • Strengthened Fraud Prevention Efforts – Under Governor Dayton, the Department of Human Services created a new Office of Inspector General to increase accountability. Thanks to the new office, the State of Minnesota has recovered $97 million in improper payments to health care and child care providers, who have attempted defraud Minnesota taxpayers.

  • Saved Taxpayers $1.5 Billion Through Competitive Bidding – Before Governor Dayton took office, the State of Minnesota was not getting the best value for public enrollees in managed care plans. That’s why Governor Dayton directed the Department of Human Services to require health plans to bid and compete, to provide health care coverage state programs at the best value for taxpayers. Thanks to this innovative reform, Governor Dayton has saved Minnesota taxpayers $1.5 billion.

  • Child Care Licensing at the Speed of Business – Many Minnesota communities, especially in rural areas, face a shortage of quality child care providers. As part of Governor Dayton’s reform efforts, child care center applications were changed to be easier to understand and process. These reforms ensured that 75 percent of all applications are reviewed within 120 days, up from just 31 percent before.

  • Saved Minnesota Taxpayers $60 Million Through IT Consolidation and Reform – Under Governor Dayton’s leadership, the state of Minnesota has reformed and modernized its use of technology to improve experiences for consumers and save money. Thanks to reforms pushed by Governor Dayton, the state’s datacenter footprint was reduced by more than 50 percent, making Minnesota more secure, while saving taxpayer money. In addition, IT reforms have reduced technology purchasing costs. Since 2011, these reforms have saved taxpayers more than $60 million.
Other Top Rankings
Today’s ranking from 24/7 Wall St. follows other recent recognitions of Minnesota’s successes. Below, see some of Minnesota’s other top rankings from recent years.

America’s Top States for Business
Second-Strongest State in the Nation
Top State on the Job Creation Index
WALLET HUB Best State for Women
AARP Best State to Retire In
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