While Minnesota lawmakers twiddle thumbs for a while to see if the federal government will bail us out of our budget troubles or if the Minnesota Supreme Court will upset the whole apple cart, one statistic is worth remembering: the state government budget deficit equals $651 for every Minnesotan.
That puts us in the top 10 for per capita budget deficits, along with such anemic company as New York, California, Massachusetts, Illinois and our neighbors to the east, Wisconsin.
That little fact comes from a report titled “The State We’re In” from the Nonprofit Quarterly. Information on Minnesota for the report comes from the Minnesota Budget Project, which has done an admirable job of keeping track of Minnesota’s budget predicament.
While we’re not quite in California’s league — their per capita state budget deficit is $922 — and Connecticut weighs in at an astonishing $1,717 in deficit per person — our Dakotan neighbors to the west have $0 in state deficit (North Dakota) and $40 per capita in state deficit (South Dakota). Wisconsin has just slightly less of a deficit per capita to fix at $569 per person.
However, Wisconsin makes a list from the Pew Center for the States of 10 states in the most fiscal peril around the country. Beyond California says Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois in the Midwest, Florida, New Jersey and Rhode Island on the East Coast, and Arizona, Nevada, California and Oregon in the West are in the worst trouble.
Those states all scored 22 or more out of 30 on a list of troubling indicators including deficits, dropping revenue, rising unemployment, foreclosure rates and more. Minnesota falls in the middle of the pack, with a score of 15.