Gov. Tim Walz details $226M Supplemental Budget

During a press conference on Monday afternoon, Governor Tim Walz unveiled his $226 million supplemental budget proposal. The governor says the budget addresses pressing statewide needs, including rural emergency medical services, water quality, and child welfare.  

“Last year, we took historic steps to make Minnesota the best state in the nation for families. This year, we’re focused on putting that work into action while maintaining a responsible, balanced budget,” Governor Tim Walz said in a release sent before the announcement. “From rural ambulance services to water quality infrastructure, we are addressing some of our most pressing statewide needs and delivering on core government services.”  

Gov. Walz said the items that they were prioritizing would fall into three buckets; Safe Communities, Clean drinking water, and Support for children and family.

“We’ll be providing support for emergency medical services across the state that we’ve seen over the years. This is an issue that goes back, and some of the rules written around it, go back to the 1980s and have been problematic since then,” Gov. Walz on Monday. “Improvements to our child protection system, allowing child welfare workers to spend more time working directly with children and families. And funding for in home water treatment, well replacement, and other services to deal with the issues of nitrates in drinking waters and other contaminants.”

Watch the full press conference:

The news comes just weeks after the announcement that Minnesota’s state budget forecast shows a possible deficit in the coming years.

As WDIO has previously reported, the current surplus is projected at $3.7 Billion, but the State Budget Office says nearly all of the surplus will be wiped out by increased spending in the next two years if lawmakers don’t make any changes.

The governor called it a responsible budget, noting his proposal leaves around $2,2 Billion of the state’s projected surplus left.

The governor’s announcement highlights these three items:

Public Safety and Emergency Services 

The 2024 supplemental budget includes $16 million to support ambulance services in Greater Minnesota, which have faced severe funding and personnel shortfalls. The budget also provides grants to organizations that serve victims of crime, in addition to funding services to prevent recidivism and overdoses for people who are released from prisons and jails.  

Child Care and Child Protection 

The 2024 supplemental budget makes investments in child protection, including funding to improve and modernize the state’s child welfare and social services reporting system so child welfare workers have more time to spend with children and families. In addition to child protection funding, the supplemental budget provides an additional 2,200 voluntary pre-K seats to prepare children for success and enhance their pre-reading, pre-math, language, and social skills. 

Water Quality and Infrastructure  

The 2024 supplemental budget provides funding for in-home water treatment, well replacement, and other services for contaminated wells. The supplemental budget also acts as a state match for federal Climate Pollution Reduction Grant that Minnesota is applying for in a competitive process. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s budget includes a $989 million infrastructure plan that focuses on safe drinking water, transportation, housing, and critical state infrastructure. 

More details on the $226 million supplemental budget are available online.