Governor Walz Releases Proposed Budget

By Paul Cassidy

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz released his two-year budget proposal at noon today, kicking off a ferocious debate over his administration's proposed spending and tax increases. Walz proposes to increase state spending during the next biennium to $49.5 billion, representing an eight percent increase over the current budget cycle. Highlights of the budget that are sure to draw fire from House and Senate Republicans include a 20 cent fuel tax increase, a continuation of the health care provider tax, and almost $1 billion in new spending for public education and a $158 million increase for higher education.

Many of Walz's other budget proposals reflect campaign themes, including increased spending on broadband and internet access in rural areas, expanded access to child care, increases in spending for affordable housing, and expanding access to MinnesotaCare, the state's health care program currently open to only those residents that meet certain income thresholds.

For detailed information regarding the entire 2020-2021 Governor's Budget Recommendations, please visit the Minnesota Management and Budget website.

Today's announcement will be the springboard for the legislature to begin pulling together its own budget proposal while continuing negotiations with Walz. Walz and House and Senate leadership have agreed to abide by a rigorous deadline schedule in order to stay on task during deliberations.

The agreed to schedule is as follows:

March 15, 2019: First Policy Deadline

March 29, 2019: Second Policy Deadline

April 12, 2019: Third Policy Deadline: All budget bills must pass out of finance committees

April 13 - April 22, 2019: Break

May 1, 2019: All finance bills must pass off their respective floors and conference committees appointed

May 6, 2019: Governor and leadership must agree to budget targets for final negotiations

May 13, 2019: All conference committee reports must be reported out to their house of origin

May 20, 2019: Adjournment


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