Jan 20, 2022 | By: Renae Morgan

Walz, Flanagan Announce Plan for Direct Payments to Minnesotans, Other Proposals

With a projected budget surplus of $7.7 billion on the horizon, Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan announced on Thursday a series of proposals, including sending checks directly to Minnesotans, in what they say will expand financial opportunity as part of the Walz-Flanagan Budget to Move Minnesota Forward.

Today’s announcement follows the rollout of their 2022 Local Jobs and Projects Plan earlier this week.

“This plan builds our economy by putting people—our strongest asset—at the center of the blueprint. Right now, we have a remarkable opportunity to give money back to middle class Minnesotans, working families, and small businesses,” said Gov. Walz in a statement. “In this budget, if you are a frontline worker with children, earning up to $70,000 per year, you will get about $2,000 back in your pocket.”

According to a release, the series of supplemental budget proposals includes giving out $700 million in “Walz Checks”, which are direct payments to Minnesotans. Under the plan, checks of up to $350 would be sent out to over 2.7 million households. Single tax filers making up to $164,400 would receive $175, while a married couple filing jointly making up to $273,470 would get $350.

Among the other proposals would be a $1 billion investment in payments to frontline workers and $115 million to help keep workers providing care to people with disabilities, older adults, those with behavioral health needs, and those experiencing homelessness. The plan also recommends $10 million to expand technical education to underserved students and students in greater Minnesota, $15 million for the Tech Youth Training program, $170 million in broadband internet expansion, more investment in the Weatherization Assistance Program, and tax cuts for families and small businesses.

Also listed in the release are recommendations to allocate millions towards the Angel Tax Credit to promote business development and $10 million to help farmers and livestock producers who had losses from last year’s severe drought.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen economic inequities exposed and exacerbated – for frontline workers, for young people, for immigrants and BIPOC communities, and for small, family-owned businesses. Our plan to expand economic opportunity will help ensure we are meeting the needs of all Minnesotans in a 21st century economy,” said Lt. Gov Flanagan. “When we pursue strategic and equitable investments in our economic future, we aren’t just recovering from the pandemic – we’re coming back stronger than ever.”

Lakeland News is member supported content, please consider supporting Lakeland PBS today.

Support the Businesses That Support Lakeland PBS

Related News