Dayton vetoes MNGOP plan to partially reimburse school districts

Our heads were spinning Monday as the MNGOP pushed a plan to spend money on public school through the legislature.

The bill would've used the state budget reserve to reimburse districts $430 million of the $2.4 billion the state owes them. But Democrats, playing the unlikely role of budgetary watchdogs, opposed the GOP plan, arguing that the MNGOP wants to drain budget reserves at a time when the state's long-term financial outlook remains murky.

This morning, Gov. Dayton announced that stands with DFL legislators and will veto the school payback bill.

MPR's Tom Scheck, covering Dayton's a.m. press conference, offered up the following:

From Fox 9's Jeff Goldberg:

During the press conference, Dayton reiterated his desire, shared by DFL legislators, to create a funding stream to reimburse schools by closing corporate loopholes. That would allow the the state to give the districts what's owed them without touching the budget reserve.

But on the heels of two more-positive-than-expected budget estimates, Republican lawmakers argue the reserve is sufficiently replenished to justify giving districts $430 million now.

On Monday, Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington and chairman of the House Education Finance Committee, called opponents of the plan "deadbeat Democrats" and said, "when you have cash on hand, the first thing you do is, you pay your debts."

But Minnesota Management & Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter sees things differently. From the Star Tribune's Rachel Stassen-Berger:

Previous coverage:
-- Heads spin as MNGOP wants to pay back school debt, DFL preaches fiscal responsibility

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