The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 14, 2013

Dayton draws Minnesota tax debate into sharper focus



House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, echoed his counterpart on the income tax, showing a path to the session's end game.

"What we're going to be using it for is something Minnesotans really want and that's investment in education in this state, something we have been falling behind on," Thissen said.

The House and Senate Democratic leaders will release their own budget framework next week. House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt of Crown said Republicans haven't decided whether they will present a detailed alternative.

"Right now we hope that we can still roll up our sleeves and work with the Democrats to come up with a bipartisan budget, but we think this one falls short of that," Daudt said.

Like Dayton's initial two-year, $38 billion proposal, the bulk of the new spending would flow to education He recommends making all-day kindergarten more widely available, increasing the basic per-pupil allowance for schools and supplying public colleges with their first state aid increases in years.

Dayton doesn't move to rapidly pay off past IOUs to schools; the state deferred aid to districts in an accounting maneuver to shrink prior deficits and still owes them more than $800 million. Top House Democrats have said they want to fully address the back pay sooner.

Another major change to Dayton's budget is on the property tax side. Dayton removed his call for a $500 per homeowner property tax rebate. But he added more money to a program that gives tax breaks to many renters. He said he would push to fully fund a program that provides income-based property tax refunds for homeowners.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Man accused of stealing from group HASTINGS (AP) — An Apple Valley man is charged with five counts of theft for allegedly stealing more than $113,000 from a Rosemount youth athletics group. Sixty-two-year-old Robert Steven Reischauer was the former finance manager of the Rosemount Ar

    July 24, 2014

  • Wetland Loss [Duplicate] Report says Prairie Pothole region losing wetlands BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Federal officials and conservationists say a recent report detailing wetland losses in the five-state Prairie Pothole Region over the past decade highlights the need for increased protection for the region that provides breeding

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • France: Air Algerie flight vanishes over N Mali ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali, the plane's owner and a French government official said. Air navigation services lost

    July 24, 2014

  • Migrant children face test in Dallas immigration court DALLAS — In a packed Dallas immigration courtroom, Elsy Garcia sits next to her 16-year-old brother, Jose. She last saw him when he was 9, when she fled their home in Usulutan in southern El Salvador. Now Jose is facing deportation. His case is conf

    July 24, 2014

  • Poet takes his act to Las Vegas LAS VEGAS — The old poet is dressed in black, his platinum-blond hair rakishly moussed. He stands amid the hubbub, facing a stern test of his crafted words and carnival-barker delivery. The venue is a smoky lounge called Ichabod’s, east of the Strip.

    July 23, 2014

  • Minnesota race track to refund horse owners ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota race track manager says the track will refund horse owners after an audit found it shorted race purses by nearly $437,000 over four years. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports ( ) the Running Aces

    July 23, 2014

  • Bodies of Malaysia jet victims leave Ukraine KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — Two military aircraft carrying the first bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines crash left the embattled plains of eastern Ukraine Wednesday, while British investigators began work on a pair of "black boxes" to retrieve da

    July 23, 2014

  • Attorney general sues 2 Minn. colleges ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's attorney general has filed a lawsuit against two colleges, accusing the schools of misleading criminal justice students about their ability to land a job in their field and about transferring credits to other instit

    July 22, 2014

  • sniper wife pic Jurors start considering Ventura case ST. PAUL — An attorney for Jesse Ventura asked a federal jury Tuesday to award the former Minnesota governor millions of dollars in damages for what he claimed is a lie in a memoir by the late military sniper Chris Kyle. Ventura testified during the

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Target debuts shopping app "In a Snap" will recognize images

    July 22, 2014