New spending in DFL Gov. Tim Walz’s revised state budget gets the University of Minnesota closer to its full funding request over the next biennium.
The newly tweaked budget – a total of $131 million less than the initial proposal–comes after the state's projected surplus shrunk by nearly $500 million last month. But updates also include $37 million in increased spending for certain areas, primarily higher education. The University’s proposed allocation went up $11.9 million under the new budget.
"The revised budget is balanced, and it's fiscally sound," Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans said at a press conference Friday. "Our revised budget continues to invest in education, health care and community prosperity."
The governor's original budget funded $39.2 million of the University's $87 million biennial budget request. Changes suggest the University receive $51 million total over the next two years.
These tweaks occurred after communication between the governor's office and lawmakers, said Senate higher education committee member Sen. Greg Clausen, DFL-Apple Valley.
"We've been advocating that we need to put more funding in higher education, so the governor listened and reacted with some additional funding," Clausen said. "That's a positive, certainly."
Over two-thirds of the budget's new spending is for higher education. The Minnesota State system also saw a proposed increase of $13.2 million, bringing its total to $65 million.
"Myself and others on the committee recognize that we were being underfunded in higher education," Clausen said. "I'm not sure it's still enough but it's welcomed."