ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Senate has approved its plan to spend part of the state's budget surplus on programs geared toward the youngest learners and the care of the elderly patients.
The budget plan that passed 37-27 on Tuesday is far from completed. The vote sets the stage for budget negotiators with the House and Gov. Mark Dayton's administration that are unlikely to wrap up for weeks.
Earlier in the day, Dayton urged lawmakers to spend less of the surplus now that the state finally has escaped its deficit days.
The combined spending in the Senate bill is $209 million.
About $80 million would pay for a 5 percent rate increase for long-term care workers. More than $20 million would augment preschool and school readiness programs.