House GOP Walks Thin Line in Doling Out Budget Surplus
ST. PAUL (AP) — A hefty surplus puts majority House Republicans in a game of tug-of-war with other Democrats and within their own party.
House Speaker Kurt Daudt says they'll dedicate at least half of the state's $1.87 billion surplus to tax relief. But they've also earmarked hundreds of millions for nursing homes and transportation fixes. Other Republicans are calling to return the whole amount to taxpayers through tax cuts or rebates.
GOP leadership must balance those competing and sometimes conflicting priorities as they decide what to spend and what to give back to taxpayers. With a slim majority in the House, the GOP can only afford five defections on a vote unless Democrat lawmakers join in.
Gov. Mark Dayton wants to tap the surplus to pay for early education programs and tuition relief.