Governor Tim Walz and Republican lawmakers appear far apart on how to handle a projected $1.6 billion state budget surplus for the next biennium. Recently Walz has proposed tax hikes on the state’s highest earners and now he says…

“My commitment to a fair progressive taxation system is still there, but I’m more than willing for us to try to find some compromises that work.”

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says the surplus should be used to help small businesses impacted by the pandemic and adds:

“What we for sure won’t do is raise any of the taxes that the governor’s proposed, there’s no reason to do that with a $1.6 billion surplus.”

Lawmakers must reach an agreement on an overall state budget of around $52 billion before June 30th.