Walz and legislature make progress on state budget bills over weekend


(KNSI) – The deadline to prevent a state government shutdown looms this week as Minnesota lawmakers make progress over the weekend in advancing the state’s next biennial budget.

On Saturday, Governor Tim Walz signed five omnibus funding bills: higher education, agriculture, trade and energy, transportation and legacy, which fund projects that restore and protect Minnesota’s natural ecosystems and water quality.

“I look forward to signing additional bills in the days to come as we work together to pass a two-year state budget that will boost our economic recovery by supporting working families, ensuring that our students catching up with their learning and helping our small business thrive, ”said Walz.

The DFL-led House also passed two more budget bills on Saturday. The first, the Education Bill E-12, would increase the state’s general education budget by 2.45% in 2022 and by 2% more in 2023. It also creates incentives for students. teachers in Minnesota, such as $ 400,000 allocated to Come Teach in MN, hiring bonuses and $ 4.5 million. for mentorship and retention grants for teachers of color.

“Despite being the only divided state legislature in the country, House Democrats have pushed back against harmful private education vouchers and secured the state’s largest investments in public education by 15 years old, “said House Education Committee chairman, DFL Representative Jim Davnie of Minneapolis. “We are making progress in closing the opportunity gap by hiring and retaining more teachers of color and Indigenous teachers to better reflect our student body. Our education budget provides students and families with the tools they need to recover from the challenges of the pandemic and thrive into the future. “

The second budget bill passed by the House this weekend sets the next biennial budget for health and social services. House Health Committee chair, DFL Rep Tina Liebling of Rochester said the legislature created the most robust HHS budget bill in a generation to help Minnesotans recover from the pandemic of COVID-19.

“The budget includes a wide variety of investments to ensure a healthier future for Minnesota residents in every community,” Liebling said. “I am delighted that our legislation receives the Governor’s signature and once it becomes law to see the many ways we can help the Minnesotans.”

The bill would allocate $ 30 million for new local public health grants and a new framework for allocating public health funding. It would also increase compensation for home care providers and personal care attendants who assist people with disabilities, and the law expands eligibility for the child care assistance program.

As for the Public Safety Budget Bill – arguably the most controversial part of the budget in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and three fatal shootings by metro area law enforcement during the last year – GOP and DFL lawmakers reached agreement on the issue. The arrangements include the creation of a police misconduct database, an office to investigate missing and murdered Minnesota natives, and a task force for missing and murdered black women.

The House, Senate and Walz must pass state budget measures by midnight on June 30 to avoid a state government shutdown.


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