Gov. Walz highlights legislative accomplishments in State of the State address

Walz highlights legislative achievements in State of the State address

Walz highlights legislative achievements in State of the State address

Gov. Tim Walz gave his 2024 State of the State address Tuesday night in Owatonna, painting an optimistic portrait of Minnesota in a 23-minute speech.

Walz said he chose the new Owatonna High School as the venue for his speech to highlight legislation to bolster education, child care and families.

After taking the stage, he outlined a range of accomplishments from last year, including paid family and medical leave, boosting funding for education and approving child tax credits, among other things.

“We collectively have lived up to our responsibility to our elders by cutting taxes for our seniors,” Walz said. “We’ve invested $300 million in public safety aid for communities across the state to fight crime and improve emergency services. We’ve struck a blow against climate change by putting Minnesota on a pathway to 100% clean energy by the year 2040.”

He also asked for legislative action on gun control, namely introducing firearm storage requirements and increasing penalties for straw purchases.

After the speech, Republicans highlighted areas the governor didn’t mention, such as big increases in spending and taxes last year.

“I want to remind everyone in Minnesota $18 billion of surplus was spent,” said House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring. “There were broken promises. Those dollars were not returned back to Minnesotans in a meaningful and tax relief way.”

Democrats, meanwhile, applauded Walz’s address.

“As the governor said, for the first time in 50 years a really incredible, momentous session. A lot to celebrate there. A lot to focus on looking forward,” said House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park.

Watch the full State of the State address and the Republican response below: