ST. PAUL, MN – Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake) released a video ahead of Governor Tim Walz’s State of the State address on Sunday night.
In the video, Gazelka says the State of the State is hopeful, in large part due to COVID vaccines finally being made available to anyone who wants one. Gazelka also asks the Governor to lay out clear guidance on when the pandemic and emergency powers will end.
Senate Republicans have passed several bills to address various impacts of the pandemic:
- Safe reopening of businesses
- Local decisions for opening and closing schools
- Support for students and schools as they recover from COVID learning loss
- Tax relief for those who received unemployment benefits and main street businesses
- Protection for municipal energy providers and ratepayers after the polar vortex in February
A plan for an off-ramp for the eviction moratorium has been heard in the Senate Housing Committee as well.
Minnesota will receive almost $5 billion for state and local budgets from the American Rescue Plan (ARP). The funds can be used for one-time COVID-related expenses including summer school and vaccination distribution. Along with the ARP funds, Minnesota has a $1.6 billion budget surplus. Gazelka and Senate Republicans are committed to passing a balanced budget, recovering from COVID, and supporting Minnesota families, all without raising taxes.