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Gov. Walz And Lt. Gov. Flanagan's Revised Budget Includes $500 Direct Payments

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan announced on Thursday that the state's revised budget proposal will include direct payments of $500 for single tax filers and $1,000 for married couples.

The revised budget proposal comes after an updated budget forecast in late February projected a $9.25 billion surplus – $1.5 billion more than the budget forecasted in December.

"Thanks to the hard work of Minnesotans across the state, Minnesota's economy is strong," Walz said. "With a historic surplus, we have an opportunity to provide direct relief to Minnesotans and invest in the future of our state. Amid global economic uncertainty, direct payments are one of the best ways to make it easier for Minnesotans to pay their bills. Right now, we have the resources to send $1,000 to Minnesota families."

The governor's office calls the direct payments "Walz Checks." Under the proposal, more than 2.7 million Minnesota households will receive a check.

As part of the state's effort to expand economic opportunity, the revised budget includes an investment of $73 million to respond to "inflationary pressures faced by the retirees on Minnesota public pension plans" and $20 million in the Main Street Economic Revitalization program.

"Our revised budget continues to put children, families, and workers at the forefront by increasing direct payments to Minnesotans, expanding child nutrition programs, investing in emergency shelter services, and more," Flanagan said. "We want Minnesota to be the best state to raise a family. With our Budget to Move Minnesota Forward – including funding for schools, workers, and families – we can make that happen for Minnesotans."

More investment in Small Business Partnership grants has also been recommended.

More highlights from budget proposal:

- $9 million for "sophisticated cybersecurity defense layers" for systems Minnesotans rely on
- $23.5 million ongoing investment in state, local and tribal governmental public health system
- $215 million over three years to recruit, retain frontline workers who care for the elderly, people with disabilities, people with behavioral health needs and those experiencing homelessness
-$115 million overall investment ($20 million more) for investment in emergency shelter services
- Funding to purchase new helicopter for Minnesota State Patrol

The revised budget also includes an additional 2% invested on the general education formula and $15 million more for education support professionals.

Previously, Walz said the budget includes $2.5 billion in education funding that will invest in student mental health, recruit and retain education support professionals, and reduce financial burdens for aspiring teachers.

For a look at the entire budget breakdown, click here.

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