Walz, legislative leaders agree on budget framework
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Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leaders have agreed on a budget framework with two months left in the session.
It comes the week after the governor announced his revised budget plan.
Walz, Speaker Melissa Hortman and Senate President Bobby Joe Champion discussed the budget target agreement during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
The trio of DFL leaders says the framework includes $2.2 billion for K-12 education and pre-kindergarten, more than $1.1 billion for children and families, $2.3 billion for infrastructure projects, $1 billion for housing and $3 billion in tax cuts for, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars for public safety, broadband expansion and energy and climate work.
The agreement allows committee chairs in the legislature to finalize the components of each budget area and get the legislation to the floor of each chamber.
“Whether it’s ensuring every kid can eat breakfast and lunch at school or passing $100 million in tax cuts, this has been the most productive legislative session in a generation – and we’re not letting our foot off the gas,” Walz said. “This agreement moves us closer to ending child poverty and putting the state surplus directly back into Minnesotans’ pockets. I’m grateful for the long hours and close collaboration of our legislative partners to put together this budget.”
House Republican Minority Leader Lisa Demuth released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
“Today’s budget targets are a reflection of how Democrats have become all too comfortable with their one-party rule. Instead of listening to Minnesotans and proposing a responsible budget with meaningful tax relief, Democrats are going on a spending spree. Brace yourself for the tax hikes—they will be necessary to pay for this partisan wish list.
“Contrary to what Governor Walz might have you believe, this budget is clearly focused growing government, not giving money back to Minnesotans. This isn’t what Minnesotans have been asking for. Our historic surplus should have been the impetus for tax cuts, not massively expanding government and charging the taxpayer for it.”House Republican Minority Leader Lisa Demuth
Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson also issued a statement, saying:
“Today’s targets remind me of a runaway train putting Minnesotan’s livelihoods at risk. Democrats’ massive spending increases are on new bureaucracies, includes tax increases on every worker and business, and robs dedicated funds to help pay for an enormous expansion of state government.
“What we don’t see is how a full elimination of the Social Security tax cut is possible, meaning Democrats who campaigned on eliminating the tax are breaking their promises to Minnesotans. With more than $17 billion in surplus, the paltry amount of tax relief being offered leaves Minnesotans who are already struggling with rising costs behind.”Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson