(Learfield News Service/St. Paul, MN) Lawmakers are back at the Minnesota Capitol today (Tuesday) after the Passover/Easter break, and major differences remain between Republicans and Democrats with under four weeks left in the regular session.
On health care, Governor Tim Walz wants to renew the provider tax, which is set to expire. “I think a lot of cans have been kicked down the road. I’m gonna permanently remove the sunset, he says. “I don’t want another governor, Republican or Democrat, having to deal with this.” Meanwhile Senate Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka does not support the governor’s proposal to make MinnesotaCare available to all. “They said they won’t even be ready for that for another three years,” Gazelka says.
For roads and bridges, Walz wants a gas tax increase but Gazelka says “no.” He adds, “If we really want more to get out of session, then we can consider bonding money… but beyond that, we don’t need any more in transportation.” Walz responds bonding could be “a piece of this”, but warns shifting away from the gas tax is a recipe for major budget problems.