Gov. Mark Dayton just announced his supplemental budget, amending his current budget with last month’s forecast that Minnesota has a $1.9 billion surplus. Unsurprisingly, Gov. Dayton wants to use 80% of the surplus to invest in our children, students, and working families.
Here are some of Dayton’s priorities:
- Universal full-day pre-kindergarten for every four-year-old. Gov. Dayton would give access to free, all-day pre-K to Minnesota’s 47,000 four-year-olds so we can expand learning opportunities statewide.
- Increased school funding. The Governor proposes increasing funding for every school, investing an additional $695 million in pre-K to 12 education.
- Free breakfast for pre-K to grade 3 students. Students cannot learn on empty stomachs, which is why Gov. Dayton would provide free breakfasts, fund in-school programs to improve student behavior, and support parents of at-risk kids.
- Increased child care affordability for 130,000 families. The average low- and middle-class family would save an average of $429 per year, with maximum credits of $2,100 per year.
- Tax breaks for working families. Gov. Dayton would invest $83 million in tax relief for low- and middle-income families statewide.
- Increased nursing home funding for our seniors. We all want our seniors to be able to retire with dignity, and Gov. Dayton agrees. He’s proposing $25 million to increase worker salaries to retain qualified workers, and provide better care for our seniors statewide.
- Investments in public safety. Gov. Dayton proposes spending 8% of the surplus on public safety efforts that will enhance the safety of all Minnesotans.
- More affordable housing. The Governor’s budget invests $10 million in the Housing Job Growth Initiative, which builds quality, affordable housing in Greater Minnesota.
I know what you’re thinking: “How does this compare to the Republican budget plan?” We can’t tell you, because in the time it’s taken Gov. Dayton to put together two budgets investing in Minnesota’s future progress, the GOP has put together none.
It will definitely be hard for the GOP to claim they have a better vision for the future than Gov. Mark Dayton!