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2004 Notable State Documents

These notable state documents were produced in 2003-2004. They are a small selection of the quality work done each year by Minnesota state agencies, great resources for libraries and citizens. This year's list finishes with a bibliographic essay on government finance resources by John Heintz. John is currently a reference librarian with the University of St. Thomas, but he developed expertise in this area while working for the Minnesota Department of Finance.

Career Information

MnCareers, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Labor Market Information Office, 2005. Supplementary Web site: http://www.mncareers.org.

Adults contemplating a career change or students exploring career choices will find this website or the corresponding book, MnCareers, invaluable. Both formats provide the reader with easy to read graphics and text covering all aspects of career planning. Both publications use documents like the Minnesota Salary Survey and other DEED (Department of Economic and Employment Development) documents to provide Minnesota specific job descriptions, career outlooks, salary comparisons and educational requirements. A self-administered interest assessment test and contact information for Minnesota Schools are also provided.

Criminal Justice

Minnesota Statewide Racial Profiling Report: All Participating Jurisdictions: Report to the Minnesota Legislature. Institute on Race and Poverty, Council on Crime and Justice, 2003. http://www.crimeandjustice.org/Pages/Publications/RecialProfilingStudy.htm

This mandated report is based on a study of 65 participating city police departments, county sheriff's departments, and the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. The participants collected specific data elements for traffic stops during calendar year 2002. The report provides detailed analysis of this data that shows a pattern of disparities based on race or ethnicity. Appendices have charts by county of the collected data.

Report of the Interagency Task Force on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention. Dept. of Public Safety, Minnesota Center for Crime Victim Services, 2004. http://www.dps.state.mn.us/ojp/IATF/IATF_Report_03.pdf

Domestic and Sexual Violence in Minnesota: Strategies for Prevention and Intervention. Minnesota Department of Health, 2003. http://www.health.state.mn.us/injury/pub/dsvstrategies.pdf

These two reports are valuable resources in the fight against domestic violence and sexual assault. Filled with charts and graphs, the Interagency report provides statistical information on domestic violence and sexual assault. In one concise publication, you will find local and national statistics gathered from a variety of sources. The Strategies publication is subtitled "Five year objectives for health care and public health systems." This planning tool outlines specific objectives and strategies for preventing violence. This guide will provide useful guidance for many audiences, including health care providers, public health officials, policy makers, victim advocates, and interested citizens.

Environment

LCMR Parks Study Group Report. Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources, 2004. http://www.lcmr.leg.mn/Parks%20Study%20Comm/Final%20Report/FINAL%20REPORT.pdf

The LCMR developed this study to evaluate the operation and financing of parks and explore their possible self-sufficiency. Three types of parks are examined: State Parks, Metropolitan Regional Parks and Greater Minnesota Regional Parks. Included is background information and data on each type of park, with comparison tables on such topics as facilities, visits, funding sources, user fees, and charges. The Appendices have detailed information on visits, acreage, operations and maintenance, grant appropriations, and fee data, as well as descriptions of individual parks.

Field Guide to the Native Plant Communities of Minnesota - The Laurentian Mixed Forest Province. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2003. Available for purchase, $10.95, at: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/publications/books/plantcommguide_lmf_orderform.pdf.

Intended for land managers, field surveyors and researchers, this book also is great for anybody interested in learning more about Minnesota's native vegetation. The publication is the first in a series of state field guides put out by Minnesota's Ecological Provinces and the DNR. It can be used to aid in identification, improve vegetation management, survey areas for biological conservation and identify research needs. The guide includes maps, keys, fact sheets with information on plant-community composition and structure, landscape settings, and soils.

Field Guide to the Freshwater Mussels of Minnesota. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2003. Available for purchase, $9.95, at: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/ecological_services/nhnrp/mussel_survey/mussel_orderform.pdf

Excellent for identifying and learning about Minnesota's freshwater mussels, this book includes colorful photographs, information on shell characteristics and maps that show how mussels are distributed. Facts about mussels are provided, as well as information about threats to their survival and collection regulations and methods. Also included are sections on the biology of mussels, diagrams of their anatomy and discussion of the mussel's role in the ecosystem.

Health

Minnesota Diabetes Plan 2010. Minnesota Diabetes Program, Minnesota Diabetes Steering Committee, Minnesota Department of Health, 2003. http://www.health.state.mn.us/diabetes/plancentral/plan.pdf

Currently 1 out of 18 adults in Minnesota has diabetes; one-third of them don't even know they have the disease. An increasing number of people are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes every year. The purpose of Minnesota Diabetes Plan 2010 is to provide a disease management tool to individuals and communities to reduce the impact of diabetes in Minnesota.

Strategic Plan for Addressing Asthma in Minnesota; Recommendations of the Commissioner's Asthma Advisory Work Group. Chronic Disease and Environmental Epidemiology, Minnesota Department of Health, 2003. http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/hpcd/cdee/asthma/documents/AsthmaPlan.pdf

This publication considers all aspects of a disease that appears to be the rise in Minnesota. Asthma is considered a serious public health problem. It accounted more than $33 million in health care costs for emergency room visits and hospitalizations in Minnesota in 1999. Public awareness of asthma's burdens can help ensure that individuals with asthma have the resources needed to manage the disease. This document presents recommendations to address the increasing economic and health burden of asthma in Minnesota.

Asthma Action Plan. Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Division, Minnesota Department of Health. http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/hpcd/cdee/asthma/ActionPlan.html

This interactive software resource was developed for medical professionals and patients. Using the Action Plan takes the guesswork out of treating asthma episodes. The plan was created to help patients know what to do in case of an attack, control asthma attacks, and know what to watch for to intervene early in an attack - strategies to help them to avoid doctor visits.

Minnesota Workplace Safety Report: Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, 2002. Research and Statistics, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, 2003. http://www.dli.mn.gov/pdf/saferpt02.pdf

The report presents information about Minnesota's job-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities -- their incidence, nature and causes, the industries in which they occur and changes in their incidence over time. The report also describes programs from the Department of Labor and Industry used to help employers and workers reduce injuries and illnesses in their own workplaces.

New Minnesotans

Refugee Health Provider Services. Minnesota Department of Health. Web resource at: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/refugee/hcp/index.html

This website is a valuable resource for health care providers and for anyone who works with refugees or immigrant populations. Included is a 'comprehensive screening examination' with appropriate follow-up referrals. Resources on topics such as social adjustment, language access, and cultural competence are provided, as are refugee demographic and health screening data. Information on the Minnesota Immigrant Health Task Force and the Metro Refugee Health Task Force is also available.

Estimates of Selected Immigrant Populations in Minnesota: 2004. Office of the State Demographer, June 2004. http://www.demography.state.mn.us/PopNotes/EvaluatingEstimates.pdf

Find current demographic information for nine immigrant groups in Minnesota. In this brief document, they have included 1990 and 2000 U.S. Census data, 2003-2004 school enrollment numbers, and current population estimates. This report is one of an ongoing series titled, Population Notes. (http://server.admin.state.mn.us/pubs/popnotes.html) The authors of this series take government statistics and create fascinating snapshots of the demographics of our state.

Government Finance Resources

State and local government taxation and spending issues take up a seemingly disproportionate amount of time during each session of the Legislature. This is appropriate, because issues of who pays how much of which taxes, and on what programs and services are those monies spent directly affect the lives and pocketbooks of all Minnesotans. The governor, legislators, and local government officials who must wrestle with the difficult choices involved are fortunate to have dedicated staff people in several agencies to provide detailed information and analysis to help guide those decisions. Fortunately, many of these documents are also available to interested citizens, researchers, and all affected by these actions.

Do you know where state tax dollars come from and where they go? Want to take a look at detailed budget documents to try and figure out when that highway near your house might get rebuilt? Ever wonder what the Board of Water and Soil Resources does? You can find answers to these questions and more on the Department of Finance's Minnesota State Budget Web page. This site provides both summary and detailed budget information on the state's operating and capital budgets. State budget information is complex, and this site has multiple layers of information, including archives of information from prior budget periods--if you get confused, give them a call, and they'll help you find what you need.

Have trouble remembering what the sales tax rates are and what goods and services are exempt? Need to know at what dollar levels the income tax brackets change? See the Minnesota Department of Revenue's Minnesota Tax Handbook for a concise summary for each major tax on rates levied, amounts collected, legislative history, and more.

Curious about the impact of the various taxes on different industries, categories of taxpayer, or income levels of taxpayers? State decision makers refer to the Minnesota Department of Revenue's Tax Incidence Study to help them judge the fairness and impact of the overall state and local tax system.

Ever notice when buying things that sometimes you pay a local sales tax and sometimes you don't, and wonder why and what that money is used to pay for? Check out the Department of Revenue's Minnesota's Local Sales and Use Taxes: A Report to the 2004 Minnesota Legislature.

Did you know that the state sent over $8.8 billion (roughly 72% of state general and highway fund spending in 2002) to local governments to pay for schools, human services, highways, and general operations? Interested in seeing a map of which regions of the state receive more state aid, and which pay more taxes? Need data by county showing local aid payments and amounts of state taxes collected? Refer to the Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department's Major State Aids and Taxes: A Comparative Analysis for a 241 page compendium of such information.

Are your kids' teachers concerned about budget cuts? Wondering what's going on in school finance in Minnesota? Check out the Office of the State Auditor's Financial Trends of Minnesota School Districts reports. There is one for districts under 1,000 students, and one for districts over 1,000 students.

Resources included:

Another source for state budget documents and information is the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library's guide, State Budget, at http://www.leg.state.mn.us/lrl/issues/budget.asp.

Notable State Documents for 2003