Gov. Tim Walz presented 2019 legislative session highlights—including restoring local government aid (LGA) funding levels and getting a special session budget deal passed—to LMC Annual Conference attendees on June 28.
The governor also spoke about the importance of the state/local partnership and answered attendees’ questions. He noted that city officials have a lot of credibility at the Capitol and that state leaders want to hear from them on issues.
The Annual Conference, which took place June 26-28 in Duluth, was attended by nearly 600 city officials.
Gov. Walz discussed a variety of issues, including the success of bringing LGA funding back up to the 2002 level, Metropolitan Council governance reforms, and unfunded mandates. He also noted his commitment to increasing state funding for transportation needs across the state.
The governor expressed his ongoing support for the LGA program and the need to continue to increase the appropriation in the future to maintain the partnership with cities. He said he will also work to avoid imposing unfunded mandates on local units of government.
In addition, Gov. Walz said that he expects his commissioners to work with local officials on a range of issues, including water and wastewater.
Despite the lack of agreement on transportation funding in 2019, Gov. Walz said he would continue to push for additional revenues to fund the increasing demands related to maintenance of state and local roads.
This was the governor’s second appearance at a League event in less than six months. He also attended the League’s Legislative Conference last February.