What’s in MN’s $72B budget and what else lawmakers approved

One thing is clear: Minnesota never has had a state budget like this before.

Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party members approved a historic, nearly $72 billion spending plan for the coming two years by tapping a $17.5 billion budget surplus and raising billions more in tax revenues. DFLers say the 38 percent increase in spending over current levels is part of their progressive vision for Minnesota’s future.

Most of the new spending is ongoing, and the state will have to hire new workers to implement some of it. Lower- and middle-income residents will see $1.1 billion in tax rebates and about $1.4 billion in expanded tax credits.

“We’re leaving no one behind,” Gov. Tim Walz said Wednesday as he signed what House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, called “the best budget in 50 years.”

It took a “team effort” to hold the party’s one-seat advantage in the Senate and approve what Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic, DFL-Minneapolis, said was a “transformative, historic and consequential” spending plan.

But where DFLers see success, Republicans see excess, recklessness and squandered opportunity. They pushed to give most of the surplus back to taxpayers with bigger rebates and more permanent tax cuts. They wanted much more restrained growth in state spending and a much more modest budget.

House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, was “very disappointed” Democrats didn’t prioritize bigger tax rebates and more help for seniors.

GOP lawmakers, now in the minority in both chambers, had little power to affect the outcome. Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson, R-East Grand Forks, called it the most partisan session in state history and said Democrats largely refused to compromise.

“What is our legacy going to be if we don’t get that back?” he said.

Click a link to learn about the big things, and some of the little ones, that came out of the 2023 legislative session:

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