Cook County will receive more in state funding as Democrats dole out the cash
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Cook County will receive more in state funding as Democrats dole out the cash

The Minnesota Legislature put the final touches on a $72 billion state budget and adjourned for the year Monday night as Democrats celebrated enacting an ambitious agenda that ranged from protecting abortion rights, to providing more resources for education, to legalizing marijuana.

The big tax bill of the session, which cleared its final test Sunday evening, included $3 billion in tax cuts, including modest one-time rebates from the state’s $17.5 billion budget surplus. But, the Associated Press reports, lawmakers also approved tax increases to provide ongoing funding for long-term initiatives like transportation improvements and a new paid family and medical leave program.

With the end of the 2023 legislative session, here are some of the funding and programs in Cook County that will see support from the state. They include:

–$6 Million for the 1854 Treaty Area Agreement;

–$3 Million for Coast Guard Equipment;

–$4 Million bond for Gitchi Gami State Trail;

–$200,000 for Grand Marais Mountain Bike Trail;

–$700,000 to the Cook County Historical Society;

–$290,000 for a Grand Portage Emergency Management Coordinator.

Local government in Cook County will also receive a funding boost, including:

— More than $675,000 for the county program aid, an increase of nearly $160,000;

–City Hall in Grand Marais will receive an additional $30,000 in local government aid;

Cook County PILT payments from the state will increase more than $210,000 increase;

–Grand Marais Public Safety Aid: $140,427;

–Cook County Public Safety Aid: $ 179,095;

–Grand Portage Reservation Public Safety Aid: $24,186.

The legislative session was full of spending on projects that will impact Minnesotans from Grand Marais to Minneapolis. Indeed, ‘spending’ was a focus of the session on both sides of the political aisle this year. MinnPost reports that the session was both “transformational” and “bonkers,” depending on the lens one views the political agendas through.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke recently with Walker Orenstein, a state government reporter for MinnPost who focuses on greater Minnesota, about the 2023 legislative session. Audio below.

Orenstein works at the Capitol during the legislative session. He reports extensively on the environment and environmental issues impacting Minnesota, including news from the 2023 session.