The Latest: Walz Calls For Education, Health Care Investment
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — New Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is using his inaugural address to stress the need for better education and health care for everyone.
Walz spoke at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul after taking the oath as Minnesota’s 41st governor since statehood.
Walz told the crowd of dignitaries and supporters that disparities in the state’s educational system are holding the state back from reaching its full potential. The former teacher says Minnesota must become the “Education State” for all children regardless of race.
Walz also says Minnesota must figure out how to deliver health care more effectively and affordably, with better results. He says that includes investments in cutting-edge research.
The Democratic former congressman from Mankato says he’s ready to hit the ground running after Monday’s ceremonies at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul. He’s already named all but one of his state agency heads.
Minnesota’s other constitutional officers will also be sworn in. A public reception is set for 3 p.m. in the State Capitol Rotunda.
Walz takes over from Democrat Mark Dayton, who’s retiring after eight years as governor and a political career spanning 40 years that included one term in the U.S. Senate.
When Dayton took office in 2011, the state faced a $6.2 billion budget deficit. But Walz is inheriting a projected $1.5 billion surplus for the next two-year budget period.