The supplemental budget (House File 3172) approved by the Legislature last Friday and signed by Governor Dayton this morning makes some key investments to build opportunity for all Minnesotans. Using a portion of the $1.2 billion surplus projected in the February Forecast, the final supplemental budget includes $262 million in additional spending for this biennium and $850 million in FY 2016-17.
The supplemental budget’s provisions for health and human services include investments to build opportunities for Minnesotans to lead healthy lives:
- A 5 percent rate increase for home- and community-based services for seniors and people with disabilities.
- A funding increase for nursing facilities to fill any funding gaps that arise from the minimum wage increase.
- Improved access to educational opportunities for participants in the Minnesota Family Investment Program.
- Funding for health equity initiatives.
Education provisions in the final bill invest in our students and seek to narrow the racial achievement gap in our state:
- A $23 million increase in per-pupil funding in the general education formula for all school districts.
- Additional funding for early learning scholarships, which enable low-income children to receive high-quality early education.
- Additional funding and improvements for English Language Learners, reduced price student lunches, and the Northside Achievement Zone and the St. Paul Promise Neighborhood.
Other provisions in the bill include funding for:
- Housing project grants.
- Greater Minnesota transit.
Even though this year wasn’t a budget year, policymakers took advantage of the surplus to make investments that create opportunities for many Minnesotans.