State and Local Policy Program

Mississippi River near downtown St. Paul at dusk
State and Local Policy Program
Humphrey School of Public Affairs

301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

The State and Local Policy Program (SLPP) was founded in 1991 to increase the Humphrey School's commitment to state and local policy issues. SLPP helps policy leaders and citizens understand how changes in the global economy, technology, and the workplace affect communities by:

  • Convening to increase discussion and awareness of policy issues
  • Contributing to produce and integrate new information, ideas, and approaches
  • Changing to enhance and apply public policy that addresses community needs

The SLPP focuses extensively on transportation policy in four key areas: economic competitiveness, technology, transportation finance, and transportation safety.

Current Focus: Economic Competitiveness

SLPP is currently leading a significant research initiative for the State of Minnesota called the Transportation Policy and Economic Competitiveness (TPEC) program. 

This ongoing research seeks to further define and promote the relationship between transportation and economic development in Minnesota and the region. The goal of the program is to investigate how innovations in transportation can contribute to economic competitiveness. The program engages in research, outreach, and other activities centered on the following topics and their impact on economic competitiveness:

  • Innovative transportation finance options – developing a comprehensive transportation finance data base for Minnesota and examining transportation finance alternatives.
  • Industry clusters – examining the role of transportation infrastructure investments and policies on the economic competitiveness of Minnesota's industry clusters and supply chains.
  • Transportation technologies – examining policy issues involving new and emerging technologies such as self-driving cars.


Over the years, SLPP has garnered a national and international reputation for research and educational work on transportation and the environment, telecommunications and transportation, congestion pricing, and for public policy studies on economic development, including pioneering work on the industry clusters strategy.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation established an investment analysis office based on the recommendation of an SLPP report, and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities have used an industry cluster approach, based on SLPP's industry cluster studies, to align curriculum with changing industry workforce needs.

In the Media

Frank Douma, director of the Humphrey School's State and Local Policy Program, comments on the biggest challenges faced by cities experiencing rapid population growth. 

Wallet Hub
October 12, 2020