The key points from the Jacob Frey, Melvin Carter budget proposals

The two mayors presented their 2020 budget proposals Thursday.

Twin Cities Mayors Jacob Frey and Melvin Carter laid out two different budget proposals Thursday, highlighting common priorities and different approaches to issues for the cities.

We've picked out some of the most important and interesting points from each budget.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey's budget 

In a council chamber packed with protesters, officials and media, Frey delivered his annual budget address. Protesters were vocal throughout the meeting amid concerns about extra policing, with Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins asking security to remove certain individuals before Frey presented his budget.

Perhaps the most controversial part of Frey’s budget includes funding for 14 additional sworn officers, eight of whom would serve as neighborhood outreach officers. Three of these officers would focus on sexual assault and domestic violence while the other three would establish a new traffic enforcement unit.

The move comes after Minneapolis Police Department Chief Medaria Arradondo told the council last month. the department needed 400 new officers by 2025 to address lagging 911 response times. Arradondo received significant pushback from council members.

Other public safety initiatives in Frey’s budget includes $150,000 additional dollars for a gun violence prevention program and $404,000 to implement the recommendations of Frey’s opioid task-force.

Frey also included a 6.95 percent property tax levy increase, which he said would help prepare the city for a potential economic downturn.

“Rather than take a political win now with a lower levy, we’ve been more conservative with our projections, more strategic with our allocations and therefore can be more confident in our city’s future,” Frey said.

Frey identified the areas of West Broadway Avenue, Central Avenue, Cedar-Riverside East Lake Street, Franklin Avenue and 38th Street as “cultural districts.” These areas will receive $3 million in the budget for commercial property development and improved lighting to promote economic development in areas with large populations of people of color.

“Cultural district are intentionally designed to bolster the vision of black, indigenous and immigrant communities,” he said.

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter's budget

Carter’s budget, which was unveiled at the Frogtown Community Center in St. Paul also includes a property tax levy increase, with his proposal 4.85 percent.

To keep up with rising costs, Carter also proposed cuts to youth programming and implementing a $5 fee for families using community centers.

“[These reductions] represent a very difficult and challenging set of decisions,” Carter said.

Following Minneapolis’ move to do so in 2015, St. Paul will begin working toward a $15 minimum wage in 2020. Carter’s budget includes around $80,000 for staff to help with that transition.

The budget also allocates money for St. Paul’s roads and sidewalks, which the city recently found to be in danger of deteriorating further without additional funding. The budget allocates $20.3 million for road reconstruction and resurfacing.

One of the most notable changes proposed by Carter is making half of the 4 lanes on Ayd Mill Road – a busy cut-through that drivers use to get between I-35E and I-94 – exclusive to bicycles and pedestrians, with car travel reduced to 2 lanes.

“The investments we’re making to rebuild our streets, sidewalks and bikeways, remove dead trees, install LED street lights and reduce illegal dumping convey that we care about every one of our neighborhoods,” Carter said.

Carter’s budget does not add any more officers to the St. Paul Police Department, with his plan actually cutting the number by five. Instead, Carter emphasized new programming to help homeless individuals and individuals who have frequent interactions with police.

Part of the budget will help the city adjust to St. Paul schools’ new start times, which have older students starting classes later. Recreation centers will see $250,000 in funding to provide accommodation for students as their class schedules change. 

Next Up

Sen. Julia Coleman

'No one's business': State senator calls out attack on her pregnancy

Sen. Julia Coleman represents Minnesota's District 47.

Willmar Police Department

'Errant bullet' goes through garage wall, kills Willmar man

The man was working in his garage when he was shot, witnesses said.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 10.59.00 PM

Wild tie Kings with 2 seconds left, win in overtime

Another incredible finish for the Wild.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 6.53.17 PM

Mike Lindell's MyPillow offering discounts using the code 'Qanon'

The Shakopee-based company is under the microscope because of the recent actions of its owner.

Surly Brewing

Facing aluminum can shortage, Surly unveils solution: 'Cantyhose'

The brewery came up with a creative way to repurpose unused cans.

Liam Robbins

Gophers stay perfect at home by crushing 7th-ranked Michigan

Liam Robbins and Marcus Carr were too much for the previously undefeated Wolverines.

police lights

Four teens arrested over robberies in Minneapolis

They teens were found in a vehicle that was taken during an earlier carjacking.

Boundary Waters/BWCA

All BWCA visitors will now have to watch three 'Leave No Trace' videos

Visitors left an "unacceptably high amount" of damage last year.


Ten fatal overdoses in past 6 weeks reported in region of northern MN

Law enforcement agencies have issued a plea to the general public.


Melvin Carter

Melvin Carter's 2021 budget includes millions in cuts, hiring freeze

The proposed budget will not result in any layoffs of city employees, Carter said.

Jacob Frey

Frey's 2021 budget proposal includes $34 million in cuts

The proposed budget also increases funding for affordable housing and violence prevention programs.

Mitch mcconnell

Twin Cities mayors join demand for action from Mitch McConnell

More than 200 mayors signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Screen Shot 2019-08-15 at 1.19.47 PM

Amid protests, Mayor Jacob Frey announces increase in police officers

The Minneapolis mayor announced his 2019-20 budget on Thursday.

St. Paul trash collection must go on ballot, MN Supreme Court rules

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said decentralizing trash collection could lead to a property tax increase.


Frey: The people doing the burning are not Minneapolis residents

This comes amid widespread reports of bad-faith actors setting fires.

Melvin Carter

St. Paul announces $300-a-month rent subsidy for struggling families

Mayor Melvin Carter announced the Families First Housing Pilot Program Tuesday.

Jacob Frey

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey planning to run for reelection

Frey said in a radio interview that 2020 has been a "horrible" year.