Updated: June 30, 2021 10:53 PM
Created: June 30, 2021 05:52 PM
The Minnesota Legislature is poised to avoid a partial government shutdown, just before the current budget was set to expire.
The Senate approved an education policy and finance bill earlier in the evening, sending it to Gov. Tim Walz's desk as the Legislature finished its remaining work on a $52 billion, two-year budget.
The Senate voted 65-0 to pass the bill early Wednesday evening. The House passed the bill on Saturday.
The Minnesota Senate just passed the education funding bill 65-0. It includes nearly $1.2 billion in new funding over four years. The Senate is now taking up the tax bill, but cannot vote on it until it’s officially sent over by the House. pic.twitter.com/r44e50Bd3u
"All Minnesota students deserve a world-class education," House Speaker Melissa Hortman said. "Our final budget makes significant investments in education to help our students recover from challenges brought on by the pandemic and reach their full potential. House DFLers remain committed to closing the opportunity gap and ensuring our children have every opportunity to succeed."
"The last year has been nothing but a failure to keep our school kids at the forefront of policymaking. They were shifted from in-person to distance-learning to complex hybrid learning formats, isolated from their peers and struggling with inadequate support from excessive mandates and restrictions," Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said. "Empowering local school districts to address the needs they see in their schools without burdensome new mandates, will help students recover from a year of massive disruption in their education."
Legislators are now working on a tax bill with the current budget set to expire Wednesday night.
Lawmakers returned to the Capitol after working into the early hours Wednesday to pass a bill that ends Gov. Tim Walz’s emergency powers.
The Democratic governor said he reached a deal with federal officials ahead of time to ensure that emergency food aid will continue.
Gazelka said the special session may continue for a few more days to make sure the governor signs all the bills before him, and possibly to pass a bonding bill.
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