State budget proposal
MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Today, Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan announced their final state budget proposal for the next two years, which includes checks for millions of Minnesotans.
With about $17.6 billion in surplus, the administration’s “One Minnesota Budget” has three focal areas: supporting children and families, investing in the state’s economic future, and protecting health and safety.
“I’m excited about this budget. I’m proud of Minnesotans. Again, I think it builds on a long tradition of progressive taxation and investments in things that matter,” said Gov. Walz.
Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan presented their “One Minnesota Budget” on Tuesday, which includes the largest tax cut in state history, sending a part of the state’s surplus back to the hands of 2.5 million Minnesotans in checks.
“A portion of this surplus needs to get back into their hands. Whether that’s a single taxpayer, $1,000, or a family with three children, $,2600, been crafted so you don’t pay the federal tax on these things, and that’s money that will make a difference,” explained Gov. Walz.
Minnesota’s children & families’ economic future, and health and safety are all at the forefront of the “One Minnesota Budget.”
In an effort to reduce child poverty by 25%, $1.1 billion will go toward a Child Tax Credit for children younger than 18 years old, or older depending on qualifying needs. This could give families a maximum of $3,000 back if their family income is less than $50,000.
Out of $12 billion designated for families, other proposals include improving mental health services in schools, establish community resource centers and help outside of school, and universal school meals.
Using $4.1 billion to secure the state’s economic future, the Governor’s office wants to invest in recruting and retaining workers with increased benefits, like medical and paid leave, utilize clean energy and preparing more than 85% of Minnesota communities for climate or weather crisis, and use $100 million for agriculture growth and expansion.
One highlight for small businesses is the state’s Main Street Revitalization program, which Greater Mankato Growth officials say the $865,000 investment in state dollars leverages almost $40 million in private dollars - a major investment.
“We were kind of watching the funds that were coming out of deed. And so this was a unique opportunity: we’re going to get these dollars here locally in our region,” said Jessica Beyer, CEO and president of Greater Mankato Growth.
There’s also a plan to include $300 million in public safety aid: addressing staffing, training, gun control, community outreach, and more.
A $1.5 billion housing budget tackles veterans’ homelessness and expands affordable housing across Minnesota.
Other features of the plan included reducing the state tax on Social Security benefits for more than 350,000 households and legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
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