Minnesota's governor has released a supplemental budget proposal for this year.
Tim Walz says Minnesota is in a good place financially, but he has suspected since November of last year that an economic downturn may be imminent. What he says he did not expect was COVID-19.
"We anticipated we would probably be in this situation, I certainly, and I don't think anybody could have anticipated a global pandemic would come at the same time. But it did not change our thinking, and I think all along we were planning on something very similar to this. This leaves us about $1.2 billion in the bottom line, which gives us great flexibility in the unkown of what's going to happen in the coming weeks and months, we can adjust accordingly. I'm encouraging the legislature - let's do our work quickly, let's get this done and let's move on so we can do what we need to do to protect Minnesotans and keep our economy resilient."
Walz says the budget prioritizes the replenishing of the rainy day fund, spring flooding, agricultural disaster response and coronavirus preparation. He says many legislators weren't on board with his approach last fall, but many are coming around and he is optimistic about getting the budget passed.
"I think what's changed on this is, is this great uncertainty - we're in a solid position, I think now is not the time to make big moves. We can come back at this, it's not a budget year. I feel like the mood has changed here, and as I anticipated last Thursday, I said, by the time we get to today, it would be significantly different in the state and the country. And that is true. I'm encouraging them to have a sense of urgency, because it will be a different situation by next Thursday also."