Gov. Walz, Lt. Gov. Flanagan announce revised version of state budget proposal

(ABC 6 News) – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced on Thursday a revised state budget proposal that includes over half a billion dollars for public safety.

The new proposal recommends nearly doubling pubic safety aid funding to $550 million for cities, counties, and tribal governments across the state. The revised budget also dedicates $240 million to help Minnesotans access clean drinking water by funding lead service line replacement in community water systems across the state.

Also recommended is increased funding to combat the opioid crisis by funding prevention and engagement grants, expanding access to and training on administering Naloxone, and funding culturally focused programs to purchase clean needles and testing supplies.

“The Rochester police department and law enforcement agencies across the state are facing significant challenges, recruiting and retaining officers. This investment will be instrumental in helping to train officers for this complex profession, ultimately enhancing public safety in our communities,” said Rochester Police Chief Jim Franklin.

“By investing in local public safety across the state, this budget laser-focuses on ensuring Minnesotans feel safe in their homes, at their schools, and in their communities,” said Governor Walz. “With a diverse and growing economy, we have an opportunity to make investments that will improve the health and safety of Minnesotans in every neighborhood, in every community across the state. Let’s get this done.”   

The revised budget proposal also increases funding for Minnesota State to provide student supports and wrap-around services, advance workforce training and scholarship opportunities. The new proposal also recommends an additional $10 million per year increase to the Local Government Aid and County Program Aid programs to help cities and counties pay for vital needs such as local roads and infrastructure. Finally, the revised budget includes a new $2,500 tax credit for individuals purchasing new electric vehicles. Combined with federal credits, eligible individuals could save up to $10,000 when they purchase an electric vehicle. 

The original version of their budget proposal called for about an $8 billion tax reduction package, the largest in state history. Walz has said he wants to use some of the state’s $17.6 billion surplus to achieve that goal.

The original budget also called for billions in new spending on education, health care, public safety and a start-up paid family and medical leave program.

Walz announced his full budget proposal in late January, and state Republican leaders said they found many parts of it “that Minnesotans should be pretty concerned about going forward.” Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson and House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth called the overall spending in Walz’s plan excessive, said it treats schools unfairly and doesn’t address other areas adequately.

Details for the entire One Minnesota Budget can be found, HERE