(Learfield News Service/St. Paul, MN) Governor Tim Walz rolls out his two-year state budget plan today (Tues).
The governor has already floated proposals that would have significant impacts in major areas of the budget.
For more equity between school districts, he wants the state to pick up a greater share of the cost of E-12 education, meaning less reliance on property taxes. He proposed in the campaign, free tuition at public colleges and universities for the first two years. Senate Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says, “For the governor to meet all of his campaign promises, there would be huge spending increases.”
Walz has pledged increases in state aid to cities and counties, and Republicans expect he’ll ask for 50 to 100 million dollars to finish work on the state’s troubled vehicle licensing and registration system, MN-LARS.
The governor has talked about permanent income tax reductions for middle-class Minnesotans — which Republicans might be receptive to — but has hinted businesses might have to make up the difference — which Republicans would oppose. And G-O-P lawmakers are also strongly against one of the major planks in Walz’s budget platform — a gas tax increase.