Dayton’s plan for surplus promising

Gov. Mark Dayton recently announced that Minnesota’s budget surplus is larger than anticipated, with $1.9 billion to spend. The good news slowly shifted to controversy as Dayton and House Republicans began to disagree on how best to spend the extra money.

Supporting a broader dispersion method, Dayton contends, “We invest our collective good fortune in our collective better future.” This translates to an increase in spending on crumbling infrastructure and education — including $25 million in state grants for college students. 

House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, has shown trepidation on some of Dayton’s proposals, but he’s still urging support for nursing homes, infrastructure and public schools. However, disagreement has challenged the GOP’s recommendation that tax cuts be instated in order to “give [the surplus] back,” Daudt said.

We feel that Dayton’s plan to increase spending on education and infrastructure is smart and will help keep Minnesota’s labor market strong and prepared for the future. While House Republicans may feel inclined to return the money, one need not look further than Wisconsin to see the problems that budget cuts, slashed taxes and subsidies for big businesses will cause.

Following an $800 million tax-cut package last year under Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin must address the possibility of a $2 billion deficit. We feel that it is clear which state balanced its budget properly. Moving forward, this evidence needs to be taken into account. In a recovering economy, reinvesting in long-term growth is key.