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Dayton devotes budget surplus to preschool, savings

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton wants to put much of a growing budget surplus toward expanding a new preschool program.

Gov. Mark Dayton released his retooled budget proposal Friday that capitalizes on a surplus that's grown since previous estimates of $1.4 billion. State budget officials now project the Legislature has a $1.65 billion budget to work with.

The Democratic governor wants to use $175 million to expand the preschool program launched last year. Dayton calls it a top priority.

But the biggest dollar amount wouldn't be spent at all. Dayton wants to set aside $200 million to cover unforeseen costs passed down by the federal government.

Dayton's proposal sets off a budgetary tug-of-war with Republicans who control the Legislature. GOP lawmakers have signaled they'll push for much bigger tax breaks.


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