ST. PAUL, Minn. - 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.
“When I took office in 2011, Minnesota faced a $6 billion budget deficit, and Minnesota's children, families, and communities suffered the consequences,” said Governor Dayton. “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.”
Other priorities in Dayton's supplemental budget include providing clean, affordable drinking water, expanding rural broadband internet, and cutting taxes for more than 400,000 Minnesotans.
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.