Walz adds money to budget for public safety, lead removal

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz has updated his budget proposal by nearly doubling his request for public safety aid for cities, counties, and tribal governments.

The update released Thursday builds on a budget forecast last month that showed Minnesota’s budget surplus holding relatively steady at $17.5 billion. Altogether, the Democratic governor added nearly $1.2 billion to the $65 billion two-year budget he proposed in January.

Communities could decide for themselves how to use the additional public safety money, which would be distributed according to population. Walz says they could use it for hiring more officers, buying equipment, and other strategies to reduce crime.