Dayton’s supplemental budget includes $700M in new spending

Gov. Mark Dayton. Photo courtesy Paul Battaglia / 
Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services
Gov. Mark Dayton. Photo courtesy Paul Battaglia / Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services

Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith released a supplemental budget proposal Tuesday — a plan that includes $117 million in tax cuts and about $700 million in new spending for 2016-17.

The state has a projected budget surplus of about $900 million for the current biennium.

The plan includes tax cuts for more than 400,000 families, according to the governor’s office.

Other highlight includes $25 million to expand preK programs to 3,700 additional 4 year olds in Minnesota, $100 million to tackle racial disparities and $100 million for rural broadband expansion.

“When I took office in 2011, Minnesota faced a $6 billion budget deficit, and Minnesota’s children, families, and communities suffered the consequences,” Dayton said. “The Supplemental Budget that Lt. Governor Smith and I are proposing would protect the financial stability of our state government, while making essential investments to continue to build a better Minnesota.”

House Speaker Kurt Daudt, a Republican from Crown, said the supplemental budget doesn’t include enough tax relief.

“When Minnesotans find out the governor is actually proposing another $900 million per year of tax increases at a time when we’ve got a $900 million surplus, Minnesotans are going to be pretty disappointed,” Daudt said. “On top of that, he’s proposing to spend about $7 for every $1 he’s giving back in tax relief — obviously out of whack with what I think Minnesotans’ expectations are.”

House DFL Leader Paul Thissen of Minneapolis issued a statement praising the governor’s proposal.

“The Governor has wisely protected Minnesota’s financial future in his budget, while making strategic investments like protecting Minnesotans personal data from cyber attacks. We must not repeat mistakes from the past and plunge our state into deficits with giveaways to special interests and the wealthy few,” he said.

Dayton said the budget plan would leave $571 million on the bottom line in the next biennium on top of a $1.6 billion budget reserve and $350 million cash flow account.

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Proposed supplemental budget at a glance:

  • $25 million for preK programs for 3,700 additional 4 year olds.
  • $12.4 million to help train and recruit 1,200 teacher candidates by 2021.
  • $100 million for new initiatives to address racial disparities.
  • $100 million for rural broadband expansion.
  • $117 million in tax cuts for an estimated 400,000 Minnesota families.
  • $45.7 million for cyber security programs.
  • $56.2 million for higher education, including efforts to make college more affordable.

— Jonathan Mohr of Session Daily/House Public Information Services contributed to this report 

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