Dayton Sees Harder Path to Preschool in Shrinking Surplus
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Gov. Mark Dayton says a shrinking budget surplus will make funding a statewide preschool program more difficult.
The Democratic governor first pitched the idea last year, but it was left out of the state's $42 billion two-year budget. He vowed to tap into a leftover budget surplus for early education programs this year.
State budget officials released new estimates Friday showing the state's surplus had slipped from $1.2 billion to $900 million. Dayton echoed other lawmakers who said the smaller sum makes funding an ongoing program like preschool more difficult.
Dayton says it's still his top priority but the new number means Minnesota's Legislature won't have as much money to spend.
The governor is expected to release an updated budget proposal in mid-March. Lawmakers will return March 8.