Minnesota Democratic Governor Tim Walz
Credit: Gllen Stubbe / Star Tribune / Getty

In an era of divided government and partisan gridlock on the federal level, states have become the laboratories for significant social policy experiments on both ends of the ideological spectrum. While Republican-led states have recently approved a bevy of laws advancing conservative priorities, Democratic-controlled states have mirrored that pattern with progressive policies. Perhaps no state has taken more dramatic action in that direction recently than Minnesota, which saw its Democratic governor and legislative majorities work in lockstep, passing several laws to transform the state’s social and economic landscape.

“This was a bonanza year without precedent,” said Larry Jacobs, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota, highlighting the fact that the recently passed two-year budget is 40 percent larger than the current one. “Minnesota is an example of a full-on progressive gallop towards greater government activism and a willingness to spend just unimaginable amounts of money.”

Narrow Democratic majorities in the state House and Senate—including a one-vote margin in the upper chamber—made […]

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