Gov. Dayton recommends $96.8 million for U initiatives

The University requested $147.2 million for the initiatives in its biennial budget request to state lawmakers.

Gov. Mark Dayton addresses the state's budget for the next biennium and how he plans to use the $1.9 billion surplus at the Capitol on Friday.

Daily File Photo

Gov. Mark Dayton addresses the state’s budget for the next biennium and how he plans to use the $1.9 billion surplus at the Capitol on Friday.

Max Chao

Gov. Mark Dayton recommended Tuesday that the University of Minnesota receive nearly 66 percent of its state funding request.

Dayton’s $96.8 million recommendation included funding for University initiatives to retain faculty and staff members, improve retention and graduation rates, expand research and restore health training services, among others. The University requested $147.2 million in state funds from the Minnesota Legislature for the initiatives in its biennial budget request.

“I am grateful for the Governor’s pledge to advance student success, increase access to healthcare across Minnesota, translate research for the state’s common good and maintain affordability for Minnesota’s students and families,” said University President Eric Kaler in a statement.

Lawmakers in the GOP-controlled state House and Senate have yet to release their recommendations.

The University has also requested over $245 million this legislative session for Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement projects and six other infrastructure initiatives.

Earlier this month, Dayton recommended that the school receive nearly $155 million of that request. The House and Senate haven’t released recommendations for that request.

Dayton’s budget also included tax cuts for 450,000 middle class families and farmers, infrastructure spending, an expansion of the state’s voluntary pre-K education program, health care and clean water and energy initiatives, among others.

The release of Dayton’s recommendations come one day after he collapsed during his State of the State Address and the same day he announced he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Dayton, 70, said he intends to finish his term, which ends in 2018.