At issue: Governor Walz reflects on education spending, police accountability and negotiations
“It’s a good budget for Minnesota,” Walz said in a one-on-one interview with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. “These are moral documents. They invest in our children, they invest in transportation.”
The long road to a full budget started with a deficit of $ 1.3 billion in November to a budget surplus of $ 1.6 billion in February. With the added bonus of federal money flowing in, lawmakers and the Walz administration pushed budget negotiations almost to the last moment, avoiding any sort of state government shutdown.
Walz and DFLers controlling Minnesota House ended up with a proposed tax increase on some of the wealthiest Minnesotans. The leaders of the Republican-controlled Senate refused any kind of tax increase – and ultimately won their case. Walz told Tom Hauser on “At Issue” that it was right for the DFLers to switch positions.
“When the situation changed we moved away from that, I’m completely comfortable with that,” Walz said.
A former educator of Mankato, the governor has presented education spending as one of the main victories of his administration. The increase includes funding for summer schooling and gives districts the resources they need to help students succeed, according to Walz.
While he doesn’t see it as a “loss,” the governor told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that more could have been done in the public safety budget.
“Ultimately, the bill that was passed, while insufficient for many, begins to encompass these two things: public safety – in terms of reducing violent crime – as well as how we feel. that they can be safe, ”Walz said.
Walz has yet to officially announce his candidacy for a second term, but has appealed to voters, ahead of the 2022 election cycle. The former congressman said even in the divided government of Minnesota – the only one in the country – leaders of both parties and their views across the political spectrum were able to get the job done.
“There is no tax increase,” Walz said. “It’s good budgeting.”