Dayton devotes budget surplus to preschool, savings
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton wants to put much of a growing budget surplus toward expanding a new preschool program.
Gov. Mark Dayton released his retooled budget proposal Friday that capitalizes on a surplus that's grown since previous estimates of $1.4 billion. State budget officials now project the Legislature has a $1.65 billion budget to work with.
The Democratic governor wants to use $175 million to expand the preschool program launched last year. Dayton calls it a top priority.
But the biggest dollar amount wouldn't be spent at all. Dayton wants to set aside $200 million to cover unforeseen costs passed down by the federal government.
Dayton's proposal sets off a budgetary tug-of-war with Republicans who control the Legislature. GOP lawmakers have signaled they'll push for much bigger tax breaks.