(St. Paul, MN) -- Governor Tim Walz is moving forward with a bill designed to make it harder to sell stolen catalytic converters in Minnesota.
Walz signed a bill Tuesday making it a crime to possess an improperly marked detached converter. The new law comes as the market for reclaimed precious metals in the exhaust components is skyrocketing.
St. Paul Police Chief Brian Sturgeon says the community has seen a 700-percent increase in catalytic converter theft in the most recent reporting period.
That wasn't the only big news coming out of the state capitol Tuesday, as Governor Walz and legislative leaders are now in agreement on a state budget package.
The budget agreement was announced by Walz, who was joined by State House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic. The nearly 17-point-nine billion dollar package is set to use up all of Minnesota's surplus.
The package represents a 30 percent increase from the state's current two-year budget.