Governor Mark Dayton today released the outline of his supplemental budget. We’re looking forward to seeing the details, but here’s our initial take: Dayton continues to focus on making the tax system work better for low- and moderate-income families, and making investments so that more Minnesotans can participate in the state’s economic success.
The supplemental budget describes the governor’s changes to his budget proposal released earlier this year. The governor responds to the improved projected surplus in the February forecast with an additional $93 million in tax cuts, $709 million in new general fund spending and $63 million to finance an $850 million bonding bill.
Taxes: Families and children remain a continued focus of the governor’s tax package. Dayton’s supplemental budget includes $83 million in FY 2016-17 for improvements to the Working Family Credit, which the administration estimates would increase the credit by an average of $138 per year for more than 287,000 families. Dayton also includes $11 million to expand the K-12 Education Tax Credit.
Health and Human Services: Dayton includes a long-overdue increase in Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) cash assistance, which has not risen since 1986. The governor proposes $68 million in his supplemental budget to increase the monthly grant by $100. Dayton has also taken out his earlier proposal to increase premiums and out-of-pocket costs for the working families receiving affordable health insurance through MinnesotaCare.
E-12 Education: Statewide pre-kindergarten continues to be a major priority of the governor. Dayton’s latest proposal includes an additional $235 million for pre-kindergarten in FY 2016-17 and $587 million in FY 2018-19. The governor also proposes an additional $41 million for special education and $16 million for Indian Education.
Higher Education: Dayton continues to make college more affordable for Minnesota students. He proposes funding to the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) to help them freeze tuition for students for another two years. He also proposes an additional $20 million for financial aid in the State Grant Program, which the administration estimates will increase the average state grant by $352 for about 93,000 students.
Economic Development: Dayton proposes $10 million for the state’s Housing and Job Growth Initiative, which builds affordable housing in areas with job growth but not enough housing for workers.
Stay tuned for our upcoming deeper dives into the governor’s supplemental budget recommendations, and find today’s budget materials from Minnesota Management and Budget here.