Minnesota Legislature passes $46B budget in special session

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota’s Legislature has finished passing a $46 billion budget in a special session.

It took three extra days and some horse-trading to win crucial Democratic votes.

But the Republican-controlled Legislature passed its final budget bills early Friday morning.

The overtime began Tuesday morning after lawmakers passed the constitutionally mandated deadline to finish a budget by midnight on Monday.

But lawmakers made little progress throughout the week as Gov. Mark Dayton and Republicans got hung up on final details.

Lawmakers passed five remaining budget bills Thursday and into Friday morning.

That included a state government financing bill that removed a change to how union contracts are ratified in order to win necessary Democratic votes in the Senate.

Dayton will have several days to decide whether to sign the budget.

The following are provisions that were passed that have a positive impact for Duluth:

Bonding:

  • $27 Million – University of Minnesota Duluth – Chemistry and Advanced Materials Science Building
  • $24 Million – St. Louis River Clean-up Project
  • A provision to allow funding for the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District
  • Funding necessary for Phase 1 of the Duluth Steam Plant project – $15 Million

Taxes:

  • TIF allowance for the Duluth Port Authority
  • A provision to support the Duluth Heritage Sports Center
  • A boundary adjustment for the St. Louis River Corridor

Transportation:

  • $6 Million for Construction projects at both the Duluth International Airport and Sky Harbor Airport

Education:

  • Funding need to bring the STARBASE Minnesota program to Duluth, to provide 4th and 6th graders with STEM education opportunities

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