Minnesota Legislature passes $48B budget in special session

May 25, 2019 06:23 PM

The Minnesota Legislature has ended its special session after passing a $48 billion budget to fund state government for the next two years.

The House and Senate passed the last of their budget bills Saturday morning and adjourned around 7 a.m., finishing the one-day special session close to the deadline that Gov. Tim Walz and top legislative leaders had set.

Gov. Walz issued the following statement regarding the budget deal:

"This budget will improve the lives of Minnesotans in every corner of the state and I look forward to signing it into law in the coming days... Minnesota is showing the rest of the nation that Republicans and Democrats can still find compromise and work together to get things done."

RELATED: Lawmakers to hold special session Friday

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said the budget did what both sides agreed was best for Minnesotans.

"A new governor, a new speaker of the house and we were able to work together," he said. "We passed very difficult budgets, worlds apart, [and] we figured out how to take care of the fundamentals and that was important."

The bills now are heading to Gov. Walz, who says he will sign them early next week. 

House Speaker Melissa Hortman says she and her fellow Democrats didn't get everything they wanted, but they secured new money for education and preserved funding for health care programs for more than one million Minnesotans.

House Republicans did not carry through on threats to draw out the session until Sunday by blocking procedural shortcuts. Minority Leader Kurt Daudt says they got concessions on operational matters for next session in return.

The budget includes an additional $540 million for public schools. And there is no gas tax increase, but the spending plan sets aside $94 million for transportation projects.

Public safety will receive an additional $125 million and the healthcare provider tax is lowered 1.8% and made permanent. 

The Associated Press has contributed to this report.

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Ashley Zilka

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