MN Legislature Passes Massive $72 Billion Budget And Adjourned Before Monday Deadline

ST. PAUL (KVRR/AP) — “All in favor say aye. Aye! All those opposed say no. The motion prevails the senate is now adjourned,” Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, the Democratic Minnesota Senate President, announced to thundering applause.

The Minnesota Legislature put the final touches on a $72 billion state budget and adjourned for the year Monday night.

Democrats celebrated enacting an ambitious agenda that ranged from protecting abortion rights, to gun laws, more resources for education and legalizing marijuana.

The big tax bill of the session included $3 billion in tax cuts, including modest one-time rebates from the state’s $17.5 billion budget surplus.

They also approved tax increases for transportation improvements and a new paid family and medical leave program.

The Republican minority, which was largely sidelined on most contentious issues, was upset that Democrats spent most of the surplus instead of returning it to taxpayers.

“When we saw towards the end of session here a lot of the ideas that we came forward with from the Republican side being stripped out of conference committee reports, that hurt. That hurt 49% of Minnesota,” said Republican Minority Leader Sen. Mark Johnson of East Grand Forks.

Democratic Majority Leader Sen. Kari Dziedzic of Minneapolis said, “And I’ll say that we ended on a high note tonight because these last few bills have been bipartisan bills with a lot of support and it took a team effort with all of us working together. And I think that’s what people want to see.”

Both chambers adjourned around 10 p.m., well ahead of the midnight deadline, and are due to reconvene February 12.

Categories: Local News, Minnesota News, Politics / Elections