On March 14th Governor Dayton released his proposed supplemental budget, which calls for almost $700 million in new spending for FY 16-17. Dayton’s preferred spending increases comes as lawmakers are determining how to most effectively spend the roughly $900 million dollar budget surplus.
In his proposal Dayton prioritizes education and early learning, seeking to spend an additional $77 million. Dayton is also calling for $100 million to be spent on broadband internet, and another $100 million to be spent on “equity.” Dayton only requests $14 million for transportation. Creating a broadband network that enables rural Minnesotans to be connected via the internet has been a recent hot topic among lawmakers. In addition, social equity was a key topic touched on by Dayton at his State of the State Address.
Many of the proposed methods of spending might not be palatable to Republicans, but one area of Dayton’s proposed budget that might be bi-partisan is the $117 million Dayton is asking for to be spent on tax reductions, however the Star Tribune reports that Republicans are likely to push for even larger tax cuts.
The proposal also calls for $46 million to be spent upon cyber security, $44 million on “other agency investments,” and $47 million in local government/county government aid, as well as $23 million on courts, $34 million on corrections, $56 million in higher education spending, $21 million on debt service/bonding, and $19 million on the Department of Human Services.
Democrat House Minority Leader, Paul Thissen voiced his support for Dayton’s proposal in a March 14th press release, stating, “From ensuring that greater Minnesota families have access to high speed internet to creating more opportunity for Minnesotans of color, the Governor is working to build an economy that works better for all Minnesotans.”
Deputy Minority Leader Erin Murphy echoed Thissen’s support of Dayton’s proposed budget, and voiced her satisfaction with Dayton’s approach to education in her own press release, stating, “Education has been Minnesota’s key to success and this proposal continues on that path with investments that will lead to a more prosperous future for the next generation. I’m excited to work with the Governor on this important proposal,” noted Murphy.
Republican Senate Minority Leader, David Hann released a statement in response to Dayton’s proposal, calling it “out of whack,” arguing the budget didn’t address transportation or tax cuts to the extent it should have.
The likelihood of Dayton’s supplemental budget passing in its entirety will depend heavily upon the negotiating ability of Republican Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt. To stay updated on all things pertaining to the 2016 legislative session and elections, subscribe to Alpha News.