Gov. Walz signs $72 billion “One Minnesota” budget
ST. PAUL, Minn. (GRAY) - Wednesday, on the steps of the Capitol building in St. Paul, Governor Tim Walz set the stage for the next two years of the state budget with a stroke of the pen.
Hundreds of lawmakers, special interest groups, and other Minnesotans gathered to watch the governor sign the final version of the state’s budget.
“This crowd looks an awful lot like Minnesota. That is a diverse, vibrant group of people, from the farms of southern Minnesota, the mines of northern Minnesota, to the high-tech factories of Minneapolis and St. Paul,” said the governor.
Walz touted the accomplishments of his party, made during the recently-adjourned legislative session.
“Two and a half million people showed up last November and cast votes. They made a choice. They chose hope over fear,” said Walz.
The total budget is worth roughly $72 billion, and Wednesday’s signature included 12 different bills.
The following bills were signed on Wednesday:
- Tax Bill
- Education Finance Bill
- Jobs, Economic Development, Labor, and Industry Omnibus Bill
- Early Learning Omnibus Bill
- Environment, Natural Resources, Climate, and Energy Omnibus Bill
- Human Services Policy Bill
- Higher Ed Omnibus Bill
- Commerce Omnibus Bill
- Omnibus Human Services Appropriations Bill
- State Government Finance Bill
- Transportation Omnibus Bill
- Transportation Omnibus Bill
Both Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan paid respects to the progress they’ve made, and the work of their party at the legislative level.
“Today is a celebration not only of the work of the last five months, but it is a celebration of the last several decades of organizing,” said Flanagan.
The DFL held a trifecta for the first time in eight years and was able to pass a massive list of their priorities thanks to holding the majority.
In most years, a divided legislature has trouble reaching a budget agreement before adjournment, but with both the Senate and House in agreement, things moved quickly and finished on time, without the need for a special session.
“For I think the third time in my 20 years as a legislator, we are done on time,” said Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman (DFL - Brooklyn Park)
DFLers feel strongly that the 2023 legislative session sets an example for politically similar states.
“We are going to lead by example here in Minnesota... And to those folks who have lost hope, who feel alone whose hearts are breaking, look to the north,” said Flanagan.
Republicans, however, felt left out of the conversation.
“[It was] one of the more partisan sessions we’ve seen at the Capitol, which is extremely disappointing,” said Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson (R - East Grand Forks) following the adjournment of the legislative session on Monday night.
Walz still needs to sign several bills that were passed in the final days of the session, including bills to institute Paid Family and Medical Leave and to legalize recreational cannabis.
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