The last time Minnesota made a comprehensive attempt to tackle poverty was in 1986-87 when Governor Perpich established a Governor's Commission on Poverty. The Commission was charged with developing short-term recommendations and long-term strategies to eliminate poverty in Minnesota by the year 2000. The Commission's work and final report (published in April, 1987) gave momentum to several policy initiatives including wage subsidies, increased minimum wage, sliding fee health insurance, refundable tax credits for earned income, sliding fee child care assistance, and state supplemental funding for Head Start and WIC. Inside the report are the seeds for the Minnesota Family Investment Plan, Minnesota's early efforts to reform welfare emphasizing personal responsibility and anti-poverty work incentives.
The Legislative Commission to End Poverty in Minnesota by 2020 began its work in June 2007, holding its first hearing on August 2, 2007. The Commission finalized its recommendations in January 2009.