Governor Tim Walz delivers his first State of the State address tonight (7pm) at the Capitol to a joint session of the Minnesota House and Senate. The speech comes more than halfway through a legislative session marked by major differences with Republicans over taxes, spending and health care. Walz says, “A gridlock politic is really holding us back from doing the things that I think most of us know we need to do, and I think you can expect in the State of the State that I will address to our better angels.”
Hamline University analyst David Schultz says it’s an important speech for the governor because the legislature is 60 to 70 percent into the session and “the governor’s basic proposals and basic program is stalled.” Schultz adds, “At this point there is no incentive for the Republicans to support the gas tax increases or any of the tax increases or renewals.” He says a special session is “more than likely” but it’s too early to say whether there would be partial state government shutdown at the end of June. “Walz is at that point right now where, if he can’t break something [free] now, we’re tumbling to a really bad ending,” says Schultz.
Live coverage of the governor’s speech begins at 7 pm tonight on many Minnesota News Network stations.