By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz called the budget he introduced last week his “One Minnesota Budget,” but Republicans have a different name for it: “One Expensive Minnesota Budget,” and they’re promising to fight some of the big-ticket items, including a 20-cent increase in the Minnesota gas tax for roads and bridges.

Gov. Tim Walz easily won election last November by 11 percentage points and clearly feels he has a mandate for some of his campaign proposals. Among his key budget items is a 20-cent increase in the Minnesota gas tax, which amounts to a 70-percent increase over the current state tax. That money would go to roads and bridges.

Walz is also calling for $733 million in new money for education, and continuing a 2-percent tax on health care providers that was set to expire this year.

Republicans are saying “not so fast” to many of the Walz’s proposals, calling them “non-starters.” Deputy GOP Senate Majority Leader Michelle Benson was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“I don’t think he told anybody 20 cents a gallon,” Benson said. “I don’t think he told anybody historic increases in all sorts of new revenue, tabs, the property tax increase that he is looking at. I don’t think he has a mandate because he didn’t tell people how big the numbers were going to be.”

Earlier this month, leaders of the DFL-controlled House, the GOP-controlled Senate and the governor all pledged to work through their differences, setting early deadlines to get key bills done so there is not the traditional end-of-session meltdown this year.

But with such major differences over key budget items, it certainly looks like that agreement will be put to the test.”

Esme Murphy

  1. Kevin Ol says:

    Typical democRAT, tax and spend other peoples money. I would like to know where the 580+ million is going that the state collects now from the current gas tax, sales tax on car sales, license tabs and the federal highway fund. Let’s try something unique, how about picking priorities and spend the money wisely on needed projects, not nice to have projects.