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Gov. Walz, Lt. Gov. Flanagan reveal health and safety budget plans

It's the third installment of packages within the administration's larger "One Minnesota" budget proposal that's being revealed ahead of the full two-year budget.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Editor's note: The above video originally aired on January 17, 2023.

Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan rolled out a series of proposals Monday aiming to protect Minnesotans' health and safety. 

It's the third installment of packages within the administration's larger "One Minnesota" budget proposal that's being revealed ahead of the full two-year budget announcement on Jan. 24. 

The latest budget proposal focused on seven areas: health care access, substance use, covid recovery, health equity, housing stability, public safety and criminal justice reform.

The series of proposals "would lower costs and expand access to high-quality health care for children, families, and Minnesotans across the state, while making it easier for Minnesotans to purchase a home, afford rent, and maintain stable, secure housing," according to a news release.

The Governor and Lieutenant Governor propose creating a MinnesotaCare public option that will offer "more affordable comprehensive health insurance options" for residents.

The safety plan would also include $1.5 billion housing budget that would aim to end veterans' homelessness and increase affordable housing statewide.

Another $300 million would be invested in public safety aid for local governments. Some of the highlights include "extreme risk protection orders" that would help remove guns from individuals deemed an immediate threat, more money for police agencies to purchase body cameras, background checks for all firearm sales, raising the minimum age for buying military-style firearms to 21 years old, banning high-capacity magazines and launching a new statewide initiative called the "Violent Crime Reduction Strategy."

“As Governor, protecting Minnesotans’ health and safety is foundational to everything we do. Minnesotans deserve to feel safe in their homes and have access to the support, care, and services they need to lead happy and healthy lives,” said Governor Walz in the news release. “With increased access to affordable health care, investments in local law enforcement across the state, commonsense gun safety laws, and strong investments in affordable, stable housing – the One Minnesota Budget addresses the needs of Minnesotans wherever they are and keeps neighborhoods across the state safer and healthier.”

Minority Leader (R) Lisa Demuth issued the following statement on the budget proposal:

"At a time when Minnesota is facing unprecedented levels of crime, the Governor's public safety proposal comes up dramatically short. The $300 million of public safety aide proposed by the Governor is a fraction of the total budget and demonstrates where the Governor's priorities are. We need to be focused on getting dangerous criminals off the streets and making sure we are investing adequately in local law enforcement so they have the tools they need to investigate and prevent crimes."

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