Dayton unveils $60 million supplemental budget

/ 12 March 2012 / jennifer

Jennifer Brooks, Star Tribune, March 12, 2012 –

Gov. Mark Dayton unveiled a $60 million supplemental budget Monday that attempts to soften some of the most painful cuts of the last budget cycle.

The governor is asking the Legislature to restore millions to the Department of Human Services for programs that fund chemotherapy and dialysis for the needy, and pay family members to care for their sick relatives. His supplemental budget also includes $35 million in tax credits for employers who hire unemployed Minnesotans, veterans and recent graduates.

“People and jobs” were the priority in this budget supplement, Dayton told reporters.

The supplemental budget also asks for an almost $2 million increase in funds for veterans benefits and to expand the GI bill for veterans’ education; $10 million for the Minnesota Investment Fund; $4 million to fight the spread of Asian carp and other invasive aquatic species; and $515,000 to offset the cost of bulletproof vests for local police departments.

Despite the state’s current budget surplus, the extra funding would come – if the Legislature signs off on the idea – from revenue raised by taxing online retail sales and by reducing certain tax breaks to multinational corporations operating in Minnesota.