Walz and MN Legislative Leaders Agree on Budget Spending Targets
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Governor Tim Walz and the Democratic leaders of the Minnesota House and Senate today announced an agreement on a framework for the state's next budget.
The agreement on the framework includes spending targets that will allow the various committees in the House and Senate to craft the actual bills that will incorporate the additional spending made possible by the state's projected $17 billion budget surplus. The deal was reached with about two months left in the current legislative session, which should give state lawmakers ample time to hash out the details and assemble the next two-year budget.
The spending targets include more than $2.2 billion for K-12 education and nearly $1.2 billion for children and families with $300 million of that amount directed to early education programs. Higher education would receive $650 million.
The governor and legislative leaders want to spend $1.3 billion on human services, $1 billion on housing, and a bit under $1.1 billion on transportation. More than $750 million in funding will go to Health and Human Services programming. Public safety initiatives would receive $650 million, $670 million would be spent on the environment and natural resources, and $500 million would be appropriated to meet federal economic development matching grants.
The largest single item on the list of targets is tax relief. The Democrat leaders and Governor Walz have agreed to use $3 billion from the projected surplus for tax cuts, tax credits, and other relief for taxpayers.