Access, Affordability, Accountability
“Senate Republicans will produce a budget for the next two years that funds our priorities without raising taxes. We want to help people with accessibility and affordability, and hold government accountable, because those qualities can co-exist. We will also continue our commitment to transportation funding with $8 billion dedicated to roads, bridges and transit over the next two years. Our budget today continues the wise and responsible investments we made in 2017, without asking more from the taxpayer. Because of the work we’ve done in this budget, Minnesotans can count on a government that is affordable, accessible, and accountable.”
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka

Health and human services

Every Minnesotan should have access to high quality healthcare at an affordable price, including those with pre-existing conditions.
  • Senate Republicans will provide access to healthcare at an affordable cost for Minnesota families, farmers and businesses. We propose allowing families to choose their doctors and clinics through a Direct Primary Care initiative and curtailing waste from the “middleman” in drug pricing by regulating Pharmacy Benefit Managers. We will also push for transparency in drug pricing and hospital billing.
  • Republicans saved the individual health insurance market and dramatically lowered premiums through the reinsurance program and extending it will keep healthcare affordable for families, farmers and self-employed business people.
  • The budget target for Health and Human Services is $15.022 billion, an increase of $1.650 billion over the last budget. Senate Republicans will insist on more accountability by putting a stop to the hundreds of millions of dollars of fraud and waste in our public healthcare and welfare programs identified by the Legislative Auditor, especially when it comes to eligibility.
$1
billion

Child care

Parents in Minnesota should be able to go to work every day knowing their children will be cared for in a high-quality childcare setting at a cost that won’t overwhelm the family budget.
  • Senate Republicans will increase access to quality childcare for families in Minnesota by removing barriers to opening and running childcare businesses, especially in greater Minnesota. Several provisions are proposed to make starting and running a childcare business easier including a new easy reference guide, an ombudsman for childcare providers, grant funding and elimination of onerous rules and regulations.
  • The budget target for childcare funding will be $3 million and Senate Republicans will hold fraudulent childcare centers accountable so more money is available to families, making childcare more affordable.
$1
million

Mental health

It’s time for Minnesota to recognize and respond to the growing challenge of mental health in every part of our society.
  • Access to mental health services is a top priority for Senate Republicans in 2019 and the issue area will receive a budget target of $25 million in one-time money to provide mental health grants to a wide variety of populations dealing with mental health challenges, including state college and university students, women with postpartum depression, farmers, veterans, students in K-12 schools, young people and shelters.
  • Republicans will also put forward proposals to add additional insurance coverage for mental health services, forgive loans for mental health professionals who work in rural areas, expand the use of telemedicine in the mental health field and increase funding for suicide prevention hotlines and mobile crisis response teams.
  • Solving the opioid crisis is also a priority for Senate Republicans with a budget target of $4 million to expand access to treatment and services for those with opioid addictions and hold drug manufacturers accountable for their prescription practices.
$1
million

E-12 education

All Minnesota students deserve an education that prepares them for the jobs of tomorrow.
  • Senate Republicans will provide access to quality schools by increasing local control, improving the quality of teaching and providing parents more information about the performance of their children’s school.
  • The spending target for E-12 schools is $19.684 billion, which is $843 million more than the last budget. The new money will fund an increase in the per student formula and pay for forecasted student growth over the next two years.
  • Senate Republicans will bring accountability to schools through reforms that improve instruction and close the achievement gap. Helping local schools deal with the increased costs of special education will make education more affordable for Minnesota property tax payers.
$1
billion

Safe schools

Parents and students should have the peace of mind to know when they enter a Minnesota school they will be safe, secure and free to learn.
  • Senate Republicans will provide access to safe schools by building on the successful grant program started in 2018 and train teachers to better deal with the mental health challenges of their students.
  • The budget target for school safety is $75 million, using one-time funds from the surplus.
$1
million

Environment

Minnesotans take pride in our natural resources and expect the highest standards when it comes to clean water and a safe environment.
  • Senate Republicans are committed to keeping our environment safe, especially when it comes to clean water. Cleaning up the toxic landfill in Andover is already one of the early successes of the 2019 session. The budget target for Environment and Natural Resources is $267.2 million representing funding for clean water, parks and trails as well as the DNR and the MPCA. As we celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the Legacy Amendment, this fund will provide additional access to grants for clean water projects across the state.
  • Senate Republicans will also provide access to clean and reliable energy by promoting hydropower as an alternative to coal and natural gas and allowing planning to begin for new nuclear power plants. An all-of-the-above energy strategy will keep our energy bills affordable and protect Minnesotans from the cold.
$1
million

Transportation

Minnesotans expect hassle-free driving on roads and bridges that are safe.
  • Senate Republicans will provide greater access to clear and open roadways by continuing our commitment to funding roads and bridges using the sales tax revenue from transportation related items.
  • Over the next two years, roughly $8.12 billion will be dedicated to transportation in Minnesota including roads, bridges, transit and transportation debt. The funding comes from current gas tax revenue, bonding, tab fees and the general fund.
  • Our transportation funding system will receive over $530 million in increased state revenue over the next two years under current law due to automatic increases in the system.
  • Senate Republicans will keep transportation affordable for Minnesotans by resisting efforts to raise the gas tax, car tab fees, motor vehicles sales tax, and new sales taxes in the metro area.
  • Senate Republicans also plan to spend $13 million in one-time funding to make Deputy Registrars whole for the financial losses they suffered during the failed rollout of MNLARS. Holding the administration accountable for MNLARS improvements is also a top priority for 2019.
$1
billion

Elder care

They’ve cared for us all our lives – we need to deliver the best care available for our parents and grandparents as they transition to the nursing home or elder care.
  • Senate Republicans will provide access to quality care for our parents and elderly with a budget target of $5 million. This new funding will build on the accountability measures in elder care first implemented in 2018 under the leadership of Senate Republicans.
$1
million

Higher education, jobs, & workforce development

Minnesota’s workforce depends on the best college and technical training we can provide at an affordable price for all families.
  • With a skilled workforce shortage that only grows with each year, preparing the students of today for the jobs of tomorrow is a critically important function of our Higher Education system.
  • Senate Republicans will protect students and families by making college affordable with a laser-focus on promoting career and technical education through strategic investments that directly benefit students and meet our workforce needs. We will hold the systems accountable to ensure that our colleges and universities are making students their top priority.
  • Senate Republicans will also continue to invest in Youth Skills Training, apprenticeships, and effective programs which enable people to rejoin the workforce. These targeted investments will help close the skills gaps to ensure that students from all backgrounds have meaningful employment opportunities and are ready for the challenges of our future economy.
  • In an effort to keep college and career training affordable, the budget target for Higher Education is $3.355 billion, $65.7 million more than the last budget.
$1
billion

Tax reform

Minnesotans know how to spend their hard-earned money better than any government program.
  • Senate Republicans will provide Minnesotans with access to a higher quality life by letting people keep more of what they earn, including seniors on Social Security, families and small businesses. Using the $1 billion budget surplus, we can fund our priorities without raising taxes on Minnesota.
  • The 2019 tax bill will also offer real school choice to parents who feel stuck in low performing schools through the Opportunity Scholarships tax credits.

Public safety

The state has an obligation to keep people safe in their communities – and that includes keeping corrections officers safe in their workplace.
  • Senate Republicans will provide access to safe communities with a budget target for Judiciary and Public Safety of $2.384 billion, $37.3 million more than the last budget. The budget will bring accountability to the system by making prisons and jails a safe place to work for our corrections officers.
$1
billion

Agriculture & rural development

Greater Minnesota can grow and thrive with a strong agriculture economic engine supported with a great workforce, a place to live, and a connection to modern technology.
  • Senate Republicans will provide access to high speed internet throughout the state with a budget target of $258.3 million. That target includes a one-time boost for broadband technology of $30 million. This Republican budget supports access for farmers to new agriculture innovation and access to affordable housing for our state’s workforce and seniors.
$1
million
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