Advertisement

Northlanders React to the Proposed Minnesota Budget Framework

Brandon Weathers
Updated: May 20, 2019 06:07 PM

Governor Tim Walz and legislative leaders are in agreement on an overall spending plan, but the budget debates continue.

Advertisement – Content Continues Below

Both sides had to make compromises in order to settle on the framework of a plan Sunday night. The deal preserves most of an expiring tax that funds health care, continuing with a health care provider tax of 1.8% rather than the previous 2%.

The plan also includes a boost in education funding with an additional 2% per pupil. The controversial gas tax backed by DFL leaders is not included in the plan.

WDIO spoke with several people at the pump who said they are happy they don't have to pay the 20 cent hike. However, some are disappointed, saying they would be willing to pay the higher tax in exchange for highway maintenance. Duluth resident Douglas Fifield said, "I drive between here and the Twin Cities, I drive between here and Chicago, I drive all over the place. It's not just the Duluth streets that are terrible, it's the infrastructure throughout our country."

Now that the budget framework has been approved, conference committees are meeting to work out the exact details. One of the proposals that has been brought up this year would cut nursing home reimbursement rates by $68 million. We went to Grand Village in Grand Rapids several days ahead of the budget session, and executive director of the facility Kyle Hedlund said that if this bill was passed, it would result in a $70,000 cut in the first year, and a reduction of more than $330,000 in their reimbursement rates by 2023.

"That is very concerning to us," Hedlund said. "These investments that we've made in our education and our training and our employees has improved our quality, and that would potentially be in jeopardy."

Once the conference committees finalize the bills, they still have to go through the house and senate before ultimately being signed by Governor Walz. Leaders expect to finalize the budget during a special session on Thursday, but KSTP political reporter Tom Hauser is saying that, based on the pace things had been going Monday, it could be later than that.

Credits

Brandon Weathers

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

Advertisement
Advertisement

Tower City Council Votes to Suspend City Clerk with Pay

Conway Carries On: Deceased Runner Receives Ambassador Award

Rep. Stauber Meets with Officials to Discuss Opioid Crisis, Rural Healthcare

Family of World War II Veteran Presented High Honor

US to Send More Troops to Middle East

National Gathering in Twin Ports on Philanthropy's Role in Disaster Recovery

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement