Public Safety and Transportation budget bills posted

The first details of the budget agreement between Governor Dayton and GOP legislative leaders are starting to emerge.

Dayton and GOP legislative leaders have signed off on two budget bills – the transportation funding bill and the public safety and judiciary finance bill. Both of those bills and the spreadsheets are posted online here. Both Dayton and GOP leaders are still working on the details of seven other budget bills.

The two bills make some cuts and rely on one-time money. The Metropolitan Council faces a $51 million cut for transit programs which is less than half of what Republicans were proposing. The Met Council is expected to absorb some of those cuts by backfilling money from a five-county metro sales tax for transit programs and the Motor Vehicle Sales Tax.

The Public Safety Budget bill makes a 5 percent cut to the Department of Human Rights, makes a 6.7 percent cut to legal aid and cuts $500,000 to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. There is a five percent increase in funding for the state’s public defenders.

The public safety budget bill also takes money from special accounts, like training for police officers and fire fighters, to balance the state’s budget. It also requires prison inmates to pay higher health insurance co-payments.

The governor says he intends to call a special session once he and GOP legislative leaders sign off on the details on all of the budget bills. State government will remain shut down until the budget bills are signed into law.