Dayton issues challenge to augment budget reserves

Published 9:57 am Wednesday, April 22, 2015

ST. PAUL — There’s a new pledge drive at Minnesota’s Capitol that could leave the state with an even bigger budget reserve.

Gov. Mark Dayton challenged House Republicans on Tuesday to back off some of their $2 billion in proposed tax cuts. He says he’ll match them dollar-for-dollar by reducing his proposed spending by the same amount, with each diverting those savings to the state’s rainy day reserves.

Dayton has proposed spending virtually every dollar of a projected $1.8 billion surplus. Republicans are reducing spending in some areas of the budget to bulk up their tax-cut package. But their tax plan would also guide $100 million into the state’s reserve fund.

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Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt says the tack Dayton suggested would just feed greater spending next year.

Minnesota has about $1.3 billion in its two main reserve accounts, which it could tap in an economic downturn.