Too much, say Republicans about the state budget proposal Governor Mark Dayton rolled out today which includes 1.2 billion dollars in spending increases. House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin says it’s wrong to think about the state budget in terms of, what percentage should it be increased. Peppin says, “We should look at all the spending that we do in state government… and figure out what’s working and what’s not working, and make sure we’re spending those taxpayer dollars in the most wise manner possible.” Governor Dayton argues additional spending — for pre-kindergarten, K-12 schools, higher education and transportation — is a necessary investment in Minnesota’s future.
Dayton is asking the legislature for 75 million dollars to expand pre-kindergarten. He wants to increase state funding for K-12 schools two percent in each of the next two years. Dayton proposes 300 million for tax cuts to what he says will be 450-thousand middle class Minnesotans. Dayton wants 60 million dollars to expand broadband Internet access in Greater Minnesota, and 477 million dollars to clean up rivers and lakes. And although he hasn’t formally proposed a gas tax increase, Dayton reiterated today it’s the only way he knows of to raise enough money to repair and expand Minnesota’s aging transportation system.