Governor Dayton Unveils Supplemental Budget Plan
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton is putting his spending wish list at the feet of the Legislature.
The Democratic governor released his budget proposal for 2016 on Tuesday. It includes $100 million for expanding broadband Internet infrastructure and another $100 million spread among dozens of programs meant to tackle persistent racial economic disparities.
Dayton has scaled back a proposed preschool program that faltered last year. He's also pushing to expand childcare and education tax credits.
Signs of a souring economy have Dayton worried. He left $200 million of a $900 million budget surplus unspent in case the state's economic fortunes take a turn.
His plans set up months of wrangling with the Legislature. Republicans who control the House have said they'll press the governor to offer up more for tax cuts.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton has unveiled a scaled-back version of a statewide preschool program.
The governor is proposing spending $125 million over the next several years for a voluntary prekindergarten program.
He says funding will be awarded based on poverty rates and the availability of high-quality programs in the area. Funding will be split between urban, suburban and outstate Minnesota school districts and charter schools.
Dayton last year proposed $343 million to offer universal preschool. That proposal gained little traction and some educators said they'd rather pour that money into the general funding pot.
The governor also wants to spend $94 million to increase the maximum amount of money that can be paid to providers participating in the state's Child Care Assistance Program.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton is renewing his public pondering about the value of single-payer health care.
The Democratic governor has long backed a fully subsidized health care system rather than the state's current mix of public programs with private coverage. But he's also been an ardent defendant of MNsure, the state's marketplace for private health plans ushered in by the Affordable Care Act.
Dayton is asking the Legislature for a $500,000 appropriation to study the costs and benefits of moving to a government-run system. He made the request as part of a supplemental budget proposal Tuesday.
It could receive a lukewarm reception in the Republican-run House where lawmakers are wary of government involvement in health care. The Legislature is already considering expansions to the low-income health program MinnesotaCare and other measures.