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Minnesota Legislature

House Ways and Means Committee OKs $58 million supplemental budget request

Not yet a finished project, a House committee has approved a budget boost to help meet state needs.

Sponsored by Rep. Lyndon Carlson Sr. (DFL-Crystal), SSHF14, as amended, is largely comprised of the governor’s $58 million supplemental budget appropriations proposal.

Carlson said the product “reflects the work and input” from both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate, and Gov. Tim Walz’s administration. He added the total is “down from roughly $168 million in last month’s proposal.”

Executive branch agency operational budgets are to be reduced by $58 million to cover the costs.

[MORE: View the spreadsheet]

Approved 25-1 Tuesday by the House Ways and Means Committee — Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) was the lone “no” vote — the bill’s next stop is the House floor. It has no Senate companion.

“As the bill moves forward, it’s a bill that’s a work in progress. Further discussion when the bill hits the floor will be much in order depending on discussions through the next few days,” Carlson said.

In addition to funding changes, the bill contains language related to statutory changes for background checks for foster care licensing, state grant extensions due to COVID-19, delayed implementation of the Public Employment Relations Board until 2022, and addresses administration — largely sales or additions — of state-owned lands.

House Ways and Means Committee discusses a supplemental budget bill 7/14/20

The largest amount in the bill is almost $25.3 million in proposed operating adjustments to the Department of Human Services, including $17.7 million for direct care and treatment via community-based services.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bill also calls for just more than $13 million for a 13.75 percent personal care attendant temporary rate and enhanced rate increase for direct support services provided under a covered program.

A one-time cash benefit of up to $500 would be made available for each household enrolled in the Minnesota Family Investment Program, or a diversionary work program, at the time the benefit is distributed. The $13.85 million for that would come from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Fund.

The bill also includes a pair of provisions related to the Memorial Day death of George Floyd.

It would provide the State Patrol with $4.6 million from the Trunk Highway Fund to cover its deployment costs during the resulting civil unrest, and would provide the Department of Human Rights with $750,000 from the General Fund “for a civil rights investigation into discrimination by the Minneapolis Police Department.”

Other proposed funding in the bill, all from the General Fund unless noted, includes:

  • $11.74 million to the Department of Corrections, largely for overtime and staffing costs; 
  • $7.17 million from the Trunk Highway Fund for state patrol staff and operating costs;
  • $3.1 million for testing of unrestricted sexual assault examination kits, storage of restricted kits, and development of a website for sexual assault survivors to learn the status of the testing of their sexual assault examination kit;
  • $3 million for veterans suicide and homelessness prevention;
  • $2 million to the Department of Natural Resources for legal costs, of which $1 million can be transferred to the Pollution Control Agency;
  • $1.39 million for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to enhance its capacity for forensic testing to combat violent crime; and
  • $1.28 million for capitol security costs.

 


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