Bigger surplus gives Dayton second take on budget plan

Published 10:20 am Tuesday, March 17, 2015

ST. PAUL — Gov. Mark Dayton is revisiting his budget proposal thanks to a bigger projected surplus that allows him to recommend more things.

Dayton planned to issue his revised plan Tuesday. But he has already said it would include a call for significant new spending on preschool programs, nursing homes and efforts to freeze tuition at public colleges.

The Democratic governor built a two-year budget plan in January on estimates of a $1 billion surplus. Last month, state finance officials raised the surplus projection to $1.87 billion.

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Republican House leaders and Democrats in command of the Senate have yet to detail their own budget proposals.

The showdown is likely to revolve around how much of the surplus is returned to taxpayers versus put toward priority programs. That debate will last into May.