March 22, 2019 07:23 PM
Gov. Tim Walz unveiled a revised budget proposal Friday in light of the fact that the state's budget surplus for the next two years is now forecast to be $1.052 billion - $492 million less than what was projected in November.
In February, Walz rolled out a $49.5 billion budget with increases in spending on education and health and human services. The new budget contains $131 million in spending reductions from the original proposal.
It also includes $65 million in new tax revenue.
"We are proud today to release a smart, responsible budget that looks to the future," Walz said in a statement. "While we had to take a hard look and scale back some proposals, the core tenets of our budget - education, health care, and community prosperity - remain strong.
"This budget tackles the great challenges facing our state and promotes opportunity for everyday Minnesotans while protecting our fiscal stability."
In late February, a week after Walz unveiled his original budget proposal, the Office of Minnesota Management and Budget issued the revised budget surplus forecast.
"Slower projected economic growth and lower observed collections compared to prior estimates result in a reduced revenue forecast throughout the budget horizon," MMB officials wrote in a statement then. "A slightly lower expenditure forecast partially offsets the overall reduction to the projected balance."
Republican House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt released a statement, criticizing elements of the budget that remained intact including a proposal to raise the gas tax by 20 cents a gallon to help pay for transportation projects.
"It's disappointing that Gov. Walz has not backed off the most harmful elements of his budget - a billion dollar tax increase on Minnesotans' health care, and a crippling 70 percent gas tax hike," the statement read. "The governor should focus on helping Minnesotans keep more of their hard-earned money, and work to fund basic priorities like roads and bridges with our state's budget surplus, rather than making health care more expensive and driving up the cost of everyday goods and services for all Minnesotans."
Updated: March 22, 2019 07:23 PM
Created: March 22, 2019 11:46 AM
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