Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Friday released a supplemental budget plan that would leave his mark on the state’s budget for years to come.
In the big picture, Gov. Dayton wants to revisit several tax provisions he opposed last year yet signed into law. Namely, last year’s repeal of the automatic inflators on the statewide business levy and the inflators on tobacco taxes are targets in his supplemental budget plan.
He proposes spending $227 million of the projected $329 million surplus for the current biennium, raise another $20 million in tax revenue and keep $123 million on the bottom line for the budget reserve (cash flow account).
In the next biennium, his supplemental budget proposal would increase state revenue by $580 million and would spend $555 million. E-12 programs are a major recipient of the new spending he’s proposing. Making the newly enacted School Readiness Plus revenue permanent is a top priority for the governor and Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius.
He proposes fully funding the employer contribution for TRA, which is one of the key issues for the education community this session. Learn more.
Gov. Dayton includes a bump in special education funding. It appears that it would target the school districts with the highest cross-subsidies, a concept MREA has suggested to the Minnesota Department of Education, the Governor’s office and some legislators.
His previously announced school safety plan is also included. The plan would beef up Safe Schools revenue with state aid next year and then provide ongoing levy authority for districts to maintain the effort. This proposal has the most bi-partisan support so far in the legislature. The governor’s plan also includes state funding to pay for the omnibus pension bill that is starting to work its way through the process.
On the whole, the governor’s plan isn’t likely to be met with much support from the GOP majorities in the legislature. Dayton’s position that Minnesota should detach from the federal tax code is in direct opposition to GOP efforts to conform Minnesota’s tax code to the recent federal tax bill. This sets up for gridlock as we head deeper into the 2018 session.
Details of his plan will emerge this week as committees dig into his plan.
View the details of the Governor’s supplemental budget plan.