St. Paul, Minn. – Today, Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) released the November budget forecast which revealed a historic budget surplus of $7.7 billion for the FY 2022-2023 biennium. In response, Senator Mary Kunesh (DFL- New Brighton) released the following statement:
“We are being given the historic opportunity to enact positive, tangible, and long lasting change for Minnesotans. The news of the $7.7 billion surplus certainly is celebratory. However, it cannot be overstated how critical it is that careful consideration is used when determining how these funds are allocated. Every Minnesotan has undoubtedly been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, not every Minnesotan has been impacted with the same level of severity. In order to ensure the surplus is used to invest in a fair and equitable recovery for all, it is of the utmost importance that Minnesota’s leaders prioritize uplifting those who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
Minnesota’s marginalized communities face systemic barriers, escalated by the pandemic, that compromise equitable access to financial security, healthcare equality, housing stability, safe and structurally sound infrastructure, and more. Minnesota’s Indigenous populations, for instance, experienced COVID-19 contagion at a rate of 2-3 times that of white Minnesotans during the month of October (MPR).
In addition to uplifting Minnesota’s marginalized communities, we must also invest in our teachers and students, our frontline workers who have sacrificed tremendously, working and low-income families, and all who have and continue to carry the heaviest burdens during the pandemic. I will continue to advocate for my constituents by fighting for this surplus to address access to childcare, affordable housing, and to ensure the families of Senate District 41 are able to recover from this pandemic.”