Minnesota Senate Releases the Minnesota Priorities Budget That Puts Minnesota Families First, Helps The Economy Grow, And Doesn’t Raise Taxes

(ST. PAUL, MN) –Minnesota Senate Republicans released their budget for the 2021-2022 biennium today, making COVID recovery and support for families – without raising taxes – a priority.

“This budget funds our Minnesota Priorities to balance the budget without raising taxes, recover from COVID, and support Minnesota families,” said Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake). “We are focused on keeping the budget in control considering all the one-time money coming into the state from federal funds and stimulus checks. We are helping our businesses recover and get the economy moving again after the prolonged closures to mitigate COVID. And, we are giving families the support they need to prosper in our state. The Senate Majority will work together with the House and the Governor to pass a budget that funds those priorities.”

Watch: Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and Senate Finance Committee Chair Julie Rosen discuss the Minnesota Priorities budget

The Minnesota Priorities budget includes tax relief through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan tax conformity and Unemployment Insurance tax elimination for COVID. It also funds extending the Reinsurance Program and the Law Enforcement Operations Account, bills already passed by the Minnesota Senate. The budget does not consider the recently passed federal stimulus “American Rescue Plan” which provides $2.6 billion to the state, much of which can only be used for one-time spending.

Highlights include:

  • 40% of the budget is for E-12 education:
    • $19.8 billion total to fully fund the February forecast budget
    • Funding to close racial and financial disparities through literacy, for teachers of color programming,and to improve student mental health
    • Education Scholarship Accounts to give parents and students a choice in their schooling
  • 31% of the budget is for Healthcare:
    • $13.7 billion meets the February budget forecast
    • $100 million in cost savings from targeted reforms 
    • Shoring up the Health Care Access Fund for low-income access
  • $591 million for tax relief:
    • Employer relief through PPP conformity
    • Employee relief on COVID unemployment benefits during the pandemic
    • Tax relief to stimulate economic growth and support families
    • No income tax increases
  • State Government budget includes a 5% reduction in administrative costs
  • $216 million increase for transportation without a gas tax or tab fee increase
  • Jobs and Economic Development has additional $100 million over the February forecast to help recovery from COVID unemployment
  • $40 million for broadband included in Agriculture budget
  • No new taxes
  • No Defunding of Police
  • No Felon Voting
  • No MN Green New Deal
  • No OneCare

“This is a budget year unlike any other. Between the pandemic’s devastating effects on the economy and well-being of Minnesotans, and the billions in federal funds and stimulus checks flooding the state, we really are in an unprecedented situation,” said Senate Finance Committee Chair Julie Rosen (R-Fairmont). “There is a lot of one-time money coming in, on top of a surplus that is, in part, a result of reduced government spending. So, we can’t start funding massive government programs with money that won’t be here in two years. If anything, we need to keep the state’s budget closely in check until the pandemic is over,” she cautioned.

Sen. Gazelka concluded, “This budget is a picture of what we’re going to fund: COVID recovery, Minnesota families, student achievement, job creators and employees, safe streets, and roads and bridges—without raising taxes; it’s a picture of what we’re not going to fund: tax increases, defunding the police, felon voting, Green New Deal, or OneCare.

Senate 2022-23 Committee Budgets

E-12 Education: $20.581 billion
Health and Human Services: $16.250 billion
Higher Education: $3.451 billion
Agriculture: $168 million
Housing: $116 million*
Environment & Natural Resources: $332 million
Energy and Utilities: $26 million
Commerce: $42 million
Jobs and Economic Growth: $347 million
State Government: $936 million
Veterans: $219 million
Transportation: $466 million
Judiciary and Public Safety: $2.628 billion

Bills already passed by the Senate and included in the targets

Paycheck Protection Program loan tax conformity
Unemployment insurance tax elimination
Chapter 179 conformity
Law Enforcement Operations Account
Reinsurance Program extension

Minnesota Priorities Budget Handout

*Correction: An earlier version of the release had an incorrect Housing budget number as $101 million. The correct amount is $116 million.