Jan 24, 2023 - Politics

What we know about Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz's budget proposal so far

Photo illustration of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz with lines radiating from him.

Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz will release his full budget proposal Tuesday afternoon, formally kicking off a four-month sprint to pass a spending plan before the Legislature adjourns in May.

Why it matters: The two-year budget, which is ultimately passed by legislators, covers everything from school funding to the availability of EV chargers.

The big picture: DFL majorities in the House and Senate mean Democrats have full control over deciding how to spend a record $17.6 billion surplus.

  • Walz wants to use big chunks of that cash to boost funding for education, housing, and more social services.

What we're watching: Walz's full budget proposal will include revised plans related to $2,000 rebate checks and rolling back taxes on Social Security benefits.

  • DFL lawmakers are divided on how far to go on those two issues. In both cases, income caps will likely be at the center of the debate.

State of play: The DFL governor has already outlined billions in spending proposals ahead of the full reveal, including:

  • More than $1.5 billion in new funding for schools over the next two years, including increases in the per-pupil funding formula, special education subsidies, and mental health support. Plus, free school meals for all kids.
  • $514 million for public safety, including $300 million in aid for local governments. Millions more are earmarked to help fight the opioid epidemic, body-worn cameras for correctional officers, and firefighter training.
  • $668 million to create a new state paid family leave program providing workers with up to 12 weeks off to care for a newborn or sick relative, plus an additional 12 weeks for personal illness. A payroll tax increase for employees and employers would fill the fund moving forward.
  • $956 million for housing, including $100 million to preserve and expand affordable housing, $128 million for down payment and closing cost assistance, and $10 million in rental payment help for low-income families.
  • $276 million to expand broadband internet access to all residents by 2026.

What's next: State economists will give lawmakers an update on the size of the state's surplus, currently projected to be $17.6 billion, next month.

  • Legislators will use those numbers to craft spending bills before they adjourn in late May.

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