The Legacy of Wendell Anderson and the Minnesota Miracle
For the week of August 14, 2016
With the passing of former Minnesota Governor and US Senator Wendell Anderson, a look at his signature piece of legislation from 1971 called the “Minnesota Miracle” which led to Minnesota’s national reputation as a “state that works.” How did the fiscal policies of 1970s transform education in the state and what will be the legacy of Gov. Anderson and the “Minnesota Miracle”?
Guest: Tom Berg, Minneapolis attorney, former Minnesota state legislator from 1971-78, author of “Minnesota’s Miracle: Learning from the Government That Worked”
- Part 1 – 12:20
Hammered out in the longest special session in the state’s history, the “Minnesota Miracle” legislation required bipartisan compromise between the DFL governor and a conservative legislature. The resulting fiscal policy reformed education and evened disparities across the state. Wendell Anderson is most famous for his picture on the 1973 cover of Time Magazine titled “The Good Life in Minnesota.” The article credits much of Anderson’s work for the quality of life in the state at the time.
- Part 2 – 14:14
What happened to the “Minnesota Miracle”? Though Anderson was an extremely popular governor, a power-play for the US Senate was a political disaster. Voter-backlash in 1978 gave republicans control of the state, in what Berg calls the “Minnesota Massacre.” While revenue sharing between state and local governments remains a legacy of Anderson’s in Minnesota, the state is once again in need of reform in order to make this a place that works for everyone.