Friday, June 24, 2022

Walz, top MP, reaches bipartisan deal to end session

scheduled tribe. Paul, Min. ( Associated Press) – Democratic Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leaders said Monday they reached a bipartisan agreement on a broad framework to parcel out a massive budget surplus with only a week remaining in session.

The agreement will cover $4 billion for tax relief and $4 billion to spend on education, public safety and health care. It will also leave $4 billion in the bank to hedge against a recession amid current economic uncertainty. Several details must be resolved before the session is adjourned to next Monday.

The plan, signed by Republican Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller of Walz, Winona, and Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman of Brooklyn Park, includes $1 billion for education; $1 billion for health care and human services, including staff shortages in nursing homes; $450 million for public safety and the judiciary, and $1.5 billion in other spending.

“The hard work of democracy is yet to come this week, but the norms have been set and they’re done in a way that, again, I think Minnesotans should be proud of,” Walz said in a news release. Conference outside the Capitol.

The deal also calls for $1.5 billion for a public works construction package known as a bonding bill that would use $1.4 billion in borrowings and $150 million in cash.

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Most of the details still need to be worked out in the House-Senate convention committees, which are under the gun because some of the bills will need to come together around midweek, and Walz said there will be “hiccups and glitches” along the way. Chances are. , Legislature struggled throughout session To reach bipartisan agreements on how to use the state’s $9.25 billion budget surplus,

Miller said Republicans got their top priority for the surplus — “permanent ongoing tax relief” to put money in people’s pockets at a time when Minnesotans are battling high inflation.

But the details of whether they will include the cut in income tax rates. The abolition of the tax on Social Security benefits, as Republicans want, or the accelerated one-time exemption, as Walz proposed, still requires negotiation. It will mostly fall on the chairs of the Senate and House tax committees.

“My message to the members of the conference committee is to focus on the areas of agreement. There is not much time to get it done before the end of the session,” Miller said. :needs to be wrapped by Wednesday at the latest.”

Democratic House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler of Golden Valley appears for Hartman, who was in quarantine with a mild case of COVID-19. He participated in the talks remotely.

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“We are considering a budget agreement today that will help Minnesotans better meet their cost of living, helping them cover child care and housing,” Winkler said. “We are considering a budget agreement that will help Minnesota recover from two of the most difficult years in our state’s history.”

Before Monday, the largest bipartisan settlement of the session There was a deal that rolled back unemployment insurance tax increases, which had been a top GOP priority, and $500 million in bonuses that Democrats sought for the 667,000 frontline workers who were at additional risk during the pandemic.

Miller said the deal mostly happened during talks with Hartman on Saturday. Winkler said he and Hartman presented it to House Democrats on Sunday night. Winkler indicated that it was a better deal than his colleagues expected. Miller said his members would have preferred more tax relief and less spending.

The campaign season will begin at the end of next Monday’s session, An important mid-term election is going to be held between the two parties.

“It’s going to be hard work, it’s going to be here round the clock,” said Walz, pointing up at the Capitol. “They have to make some compromises. … It’s a big first step.”

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