Walz announces plan to give $4 billion of state's surplus back to Minnesotans

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Jun. 23—Couples would receive $2,000 checks

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and House Speaker Melissa Hortman Thursday announced a plan to return half of the state's surplus back to Minnesotans in direct checks. The proposal would return half the remaining surplus back in the form of direct payments while legislators continue working on shared funding priorities, including education, public safety, child care and nursing homes.

"This is the right thing to do for Minnesotans as we see household costs rise," Walz said. "Minnesota has a strong economy and historic surplus, and this is one big way we can help Minnesotans at the pump, grocery store and with rent. Senate Republicans should not sit on billions of dollars while Minnesotans struggle to afford the things they need."

Single tax filers earning up to $164,000 would receive a payment of $1,000. A married couple filling jointly earning up to $273,470 would receive a payment of $2,000. More than 2.7 million Minnesota households would receive a check under this proposal.

"We have every opportunity to help Minnesotans right now," said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. "Minnesotans worked hard to make our economy this strong, and they deserve these payments. It's time to work together, across the aisle, to make an immediate and impactful difference in the lives of millions of Minnesotans."

Hortman said Minnesota families are in need of financial assistance, and she stands with the governor in his efforts to get checks to Minnesotans.

"Last week, Senate Republicans walked away from negotiations, and while that was disappointing and frustrating, it does not change the fact that Minnesotans are hurting, and we need to take action to help them," she said. "It's in the best interests of Minnesotans — for families, students, public safety, long-term care, child care and our shared infrastructure — for the legislature to finish these budget agreements. The governor and House DFLers are still here, ready to work and find compromises. We need Minnesota Republicans to leave election-year politics to the side, come back to the table, and join us in getting this work done so we can help Minnesotans.

"As the House Tax Chair, I support getting money back in Minnesotans' pockets sooner rather than later," said Minnesota House Tax Committee Chair Paul Marquart. "Those types of policies were included in the House tax bill and direct checks are a great way to help Minnesotans with rising prices."

This plan expands on a previous proposal of direct payments included in Walz and Flanagan's supplemental budget in January.