On Friday, March 22, Governor Tim Walz released a revised budget recommendation, which includes an additional $13.2 million in campus investments for Minnesota State for total new spending of $65 million over the 2020-2021 biennium. In February, when Walz announced his original budget plan, he proposed a $51.6 million increase for Minnesota State. As a reminder, the Minnesota State system is requesting $246 million in new funding.
The Governor is also proposing to increase his original recommendation to the University of Minnesota $11.9 million, for a total of $51 million. Other areas of new investments in Walz’s revised budget recommendation includes $300,000 to the African Heritage Council, $1.5 million to the Public Employee Relations Board and Public Utility Commission, $6.4 million to increase Tribal Child Welfare initiative, $2.1 million to strengthen the oversight of Child Care Assistance programs, and $1.1 million to increase MNLARS funding.
Governor Walz also made spending reductions of $131 million to his original budget, directs expenditures to other funding sources, makes some tax bill adjustments, and returns unspent reinsurance funds of $142 million to the General Fund.
In his transmittal letter to legislative leaders, Walz wrote, “The changes submitted today incorporate the impact of both the February forecast and enacted legislation this session along with adjustments to the Governor’s FY 2020-21 budget plan.” The February forecast reduced available resources earlier projected, decreasing the surplus from $1.5 billion to $1 billion.
In response to the Governor’s revised budget recommendations, Minnesota State issued the following statement:
“We appreciate the revised budget proposal by Governor Walz – it is a positive step forward that will help our state colleges and universities continue to deliver the workforce talent Minnesota needs and address racial and economic disparities,” said Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State. “We will continue to work with Governor Walz and the legislature throughout the remainder of the session towards a final budget that will meet the needs of our students, ensure access and affordability of higher education, and ensure the financial and programmatic sustainability of our colleges and universities.”