The state’s first budget deficit in four years could cramp some “legacy” initiatives Governor Mark Dayton wants in state law before he leaves office at the end of next year. One example is the governor’s push for universal pre-kindergarten, but Dayton said Tuesday he’s a long way from thinking existing programs should be trimmed. He says, “It may not be able to be expanded as I’d hoped the budget would permit my proposing in the next legislative session, but there’s nothing in there now that says to me that that would have to be scaled back.”
Dayton says the state is “not spending excessively” but is investing in “vitally important” programs. Republicans respond if Democrats had not increased spending, the state wouldn’t have a budget shortfall.