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Tim Walzfor Minnesota governor
Tim’s career has been defined by public service, from serving in the National Guard for 24 years, to serving our students as a high school teacher and football coach, to serving our state as a Congressman, and now as Minnesota’s 41st Governor.
Tim’s parents, Jim and Darlene, instilled in him the values that continue to guide his commitment to the common good and selfless service. Summers working on his family’s farm reinforced these lessons.
As governor during an unprecedented global crisis, Tim’s decisive actions saved lives, made Minnesota’s COVID-19 response a national model, and put our state on the path to recovery.
While leading the Upper Midwest in the percentage of the population fully vaccinated, Tim provided over $100 million in loans and grants to help restaurants, cafes, barbershops, and other small businesses weather the pandemic. And in every one of the budgets he signed, Tim cut people’s taxes, including in the most recent budget which provided over a billion dollars in tax relief for businesses and individuals who needed help during the pandemic.
During his first term, Tim signed two education budget bills providing historic investments in our schools, helping our students recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and receive a quality education to ensure they succeed for years to come.
The Walz Administration established the One Minnesota Council on Inclusion and Equity to create a more equitable state and ensure that the people most affected by policies have a seat at the table and a voice in decision making. After Republicans in the legislator blocked the bill, Tim took action to protect LGBTQ+ Minnesotans from the harmful and discredited practice of “conversion therapy.” Tim also signed a hands-free driving bill into law, prohibiting the use of handheld cell phones while driving, to reduce distracted driving and save lives.
Despite Republican efforts to end the program, Tim and Peggy fought hard to preserve the Health Care Access Fund that over a million Minnesotans rely on for affordable and accessible health care.
Climate change is an urgent and existential threat to the things we love about living in Minnesota. That’s why Tim and Peggy took urgent action to tackle climate change by establishing the Climate Change Subcabinet, the Governor’s Advisory Council on Climate Change, and directing the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to implement clean car standards.
Serving Our Country
Tim’s dedication to public service began soon after graduation from high school, where at the age of 17, Tim enlisted in the Army National Guard. In 1989, he was named Nebraska Citizen-Soldier of the Year.
Upon his 1990 return from teaching in China, Tim served full-time in the Army National Guard. He joined his battalion overseas in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2005, after 24 years in the Army National Guard, Command Sergeant Major Walz retired from the 1-125th Field Artillery Battalion. When he retired, Tim was the highest-ranking enlisted National Guard soldier in southern Minnesota.
An Award-Winning Teacher
After high school, Tim held a series of odd jobs ranging from building grain silos to manufacturing to mortgage loan processing as he explored America. He accepted a temporary teaching position at the Native American Reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. It was this experience that convinced Tim to follow his father’s lead and become a teacher.
Tim attended Chadron State College, where he graduated with a social science degree in 1989. Harvard University offered Tim an opportunity to gain a new perspective on global education when he joined one of the first government-approved groups of American teachers to work in Chinese high schools.
After years teaching overseas, Tim returned to Nebraska, where he accepted a teaching and coaching position. More importantly, he met Gwen Whipple, who was teaching at the same school.
In 1993, Tim was named the Outstanding Young Nebraskan by the Nebraska Junior Chamber of Commerce for his service in the education, military, and small-business communities.
Tim and Gwen Walz moved to Mankato in 1996, where they began teaching and coaching at Mankato West High School. In addition to teaching social studies, Tim helped coach the Mankato West football team that won the school’s first state championship.
After years of living in Mankato, Tim and Gwen moved to St. Paul with their two children, Hope and Gus, and their rescue pets, Scout and Afton.
Mr. Walz Goes to Washington
Tim won his first election to the United States House of Representatives in 2006. Bringing an authentic voice of the people to Washington and combining a Midwestern work ethic with political pragmatism, Tim brought solid and sensible leadership to Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District.
In Congress, Tim introduced the STOCK Act, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and Senate and sought to limit congressional insider trading. He also introduced a bill to help reduce the number of veteran suicides passed both the House and Senate unanimously and was signed by President Obama.
Savings lives and ensuring Minnesota’s economy could recover quickly.
Through one of the most challenging years in memory and co-occurring crises, Tim’s decisive leadership saved lives and helped our economy recover quickly. Minnesota leads the upper Midwest in vaccinating its residents and its economic recovery is better than most other states in the nation. Tim and Peggy provided thousands of small business loans and grants to help restaurants, cafes, barbershops, and other small businesses weather the pandemic.
The most recent tax bill includes over a billion dollars in tax relief and tax forgiveness for businesses and individuals who needed help during the pandemic. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Tim and Peggy invested nearly $600 million to expand access to child care throughout the state to help support our workforce and essential workers and increased cash assistance for low-income working families for the first time in over 30 years.
The Walz Administration’s COVID-19 Recovery Budget provided relief for workers and businesses including $70 million in COVID-19 relief for small businesses across the state that have borne the brunt of this pandemic to protect their communities and save lives; $80 million in statewide grants to address the greatest economic development and redevelopment needs; $597 million to support child care providers and increase access to affordable, quality child care; and $250 million in direct financial support to Minnesota’s essential workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cutting taxes and creating a strong economy for all Minnesotans.
Tim and Peggy built a strong economy in Minnesota by investing in workers and small businesses to create good-paying jobs in every part of the state. Under their leadership, Minnesota ranks as the seventh-best state in the nation for businesses and the second-best state in the nation overall.
Tim balanced every budget while cutting taxes, adding money to the state’s rainy-day fund, and making critical investments to expand access to training opportunities and community college programs. They worked hard to extend high-speed internet across Greater Minnesota and repair our state’s roads and bridges. Tim and Peggy’s Local Jobs and Projects Plan was the largest jobs bill in state history, with $1.9 billion going to local construction and renovation projects across the state creating thousands of jobs for Minnesotans. Tim signed a bill to give 1.36 million middle-class Minnesotans a tax rate cut for the first time in 20 years and his most recent tax bill includes over a billion dollars in tax relief and tax forgiveness for businesses and individuals who needed help during the pandemic.
The Walz Administration established the Governor’s Council on Economic Expansion, which brings together 15 labor, business, philanthropic, and non-profit leaders from across the state to provide recommendations on expanding Minnesota’s economy.
To support Minnesota’s transition to the clean energy economy and our agricultural economy, Tim established the Governor’s Biofuels Council. He also implemented a dairy assistance program to help dairy farmers get the resources they need to keep their farms running.
Decreasing costs and increasing access to affordable health care.
Minnesotans need affordable and accessible health care. That’s why Tim and Peggy fought hard to preserve the Health Care Access Fund, despite Republican efforts to end the program that 1.2 million Minnesotans rely upon for health care access. Tim also signed a bill increasing protections for seniors in assisted living facilities, successfully championed legislation to increase transparency in prescription drug costs, and signed the historic Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act to provide relief to Minnesotans struggling to afford their insulin.
Education and Equal Opportunity
Providing historic investments in students and families
A priority of the Walz Administration is ensuring every child in Minnesota gets a good start in life, can attend a world-class school, and that everyone – no matter their zip code – has the opportunity to succeed.
From their first days in office, Tim and Peggy made a major push to expand access to pre-kindergarten, and Tim’s most recent budget included major investments in summer learning programs to ensure that students statewide stay up to speed on their education despite the pandemic. The budget also included the largest increase in per-pupil funding in 15 years. Under their leadership, Minnesota is ranked as the best state in the country for women and for kids during the pandemic.
Taking urgent action to tackle climate change.
Climate change is an urgent and existential threat to the things we love about living in Minnesota. That’s why Tim and Peggy have taken urgent action to tackle climate change and move Minnesota into the clean energy economy. They are pushing for 100% of Minnesota’s electricity to come from renewable energy by the year 2040. Their new environmental initiative will bring more fuel-efficient cars to Minnesota and require Minnesota car dealers to offer consumers more choices of electric vehicles. These measures will help Minnesota combat climate change while increasing options and retaining consumers’ ability to choose what they drive.
Police Reform and Public Safety
Fighting to ensure all Minnesotans feel safe in their communities.
Minnesotans should feel safe in their communities, regardless of race, gender, or geography, and trust the criminal justice system to deliver on its promise of justice. Tim and Peggy helped pass important public safety reforms to tackle crime and reduce gun violence while reforming policing to ensure the safety of all Minnesotans. Their last two budgets provided investments in new violence prevention programs, funding to ensure law enforcement wear body cameras, limits on no-knock warrants, and bans on chokeholds and “warrior-style” training.
When Republicans in the legislature refused to pass additional reforms, Tim signed an executive order to fund community violence prevention grants and increased transparency and accountability. We have an opportunity to create safer communities for all Minnesotans and advance police reform without defunding or abolishing the police.