A new think tank has sprouted in Minnesota boasting a roster that includes some of the state’s most venerable policy officials who have recently retired from state service.
The group is called Research to Public Policy, or RP Squared, and almost all of its members have held significant staff positions in either the Legislature, executive branch agencies or both.
Among the best-known members is Tom Gillaspy, who recently retired after more than 30 years as Minnesota’s state demographer.
Another prominent member is Dan Salomone, who was the commissioner of the state Department of Revenue (DOR) and also served a stint as the executive director of the Minnesota Taxpayers Association.
Another old DOR hand in the group is Gordon Folkman, who until 2010 was responsible for the agency’s property tax division.
Alan Hopeman spent 21 years in non-partisan House research covering education, state budget issues and capital investment.
Steve Nelson served as director of budget and legislation in the children and family services division of the state Department of Human Services.
Mark Misukanis, who is a senior consultant with New Pharos Consulting, was a tax researcher at DOR and served from 1996 to 2004 as the Minnesota Senate’s chief budget officer. From 2004 to 2011, he was the director of finance and research for the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.
Mark Maruish is an expert in psychological and health research.