St. Louis County thanks state lawmakers for successes of session

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 Administration • 100 North Fifth Avenue West, Room 202 • Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: (218) 726-2450 •

Kevin Z. Gray
County Administrator




May 23, 2023

MEDIA CONTACT: Dana Kazel, Communications Manager

218-725-5049 (office) • 218-591-2219 (cell)


St. Louis County Board thanks state lawmakers for session successes

The 2023 Minnesota legislative session has come to a close. While details in various large bills passed during the session's final weekend are still being calculated and analyzed, St. Louis County leaders are thanking lawmakers for the support they have shown for county legislative priorities.


Three key funding formulas will deliver nearly $9.4 million in additional state revenue to St. Louis County. Through the Omnibus Tax Bill, the State's investments specific to St. Louis County include:

  • $4.1 million increase in County Program Aid (CPA) funding
  • $1.7 million increase in Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding
  • $3.4 million in one-time Public Safety Aid dollars

"We are very grateful to our local delegation and the entire legislature for funding provided to local jurisdictions. This was the largest increase to counties in decades, and it's coming at a much-needed time," said County Board Chair Patrick Boyle. "Inflation is causing tremendous burden on our budget, and this additional funding will go a long way to help ease the burden on property taxpayers while also addressing critical programming and infrastructure needs."           


County leaders also praised the passage of $194 million funding for the NLX passenger rail connecting the Depot in Duluth to Minneapolis. This funding could leverage another $750 million federal funds for corridor upgrades and new rolling stock. Train service could begin as early as 2026 with four daily round trips.


"High speed rail will be transformative to our area, to the City of Duluth in particular. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Commissioner Keith Nelson, who added, "I know the late Congressman Jim Oberstar is smiling down upon us right now." 


Other projects funded include:

  • $2 million for PFAS pollution prevention at St. Louis County landfills
  • $2.5 million for a mental health crisis center
  • $6 million to complete the county's portion of the transportation plan for the new Rockridge School
  • $1.2 million for three ATV trail systems in St. Louis County

Many other pieces of state-wide legislation will also have particular benefit for St. Louis County including increased funding for Community Supervision, housing and shelter initiatives, Public Health and Emergency Preparedness, Transportation State Aid, Local Road Improvement Program, Bridge Bonding, and Border to Border Broadband.


"We've got pieces throughout St. Louis County that are going to make a real difference for the residents who need help filling gaps," said Commissioner Paul McDonald. "I'm just absolutely thrilled to have the number of successes we had. Hats off to our legislative contingent who diligently stood up for what our needs are, and to all my fellow commissioners who made repeated trips to St. Paul on behalf of our residents."