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February 26, 2016
Multiple Statements: Legislative Leaders Call for using Budget Surplus to Invest in Pre-K, Early Education, and Families
SAINT PAUL, MN – Today, Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) released the February Economic Forecast, which showed a $900 million budget surplus. The surplus is due to a multitude of factors, including higher revenues, lower spending and Minnesota’s strong economy.
Deputy Minority Leader Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul) released the following statement:
“Our strong budget and stable surplus provides us with an opportunity to invest in creating a better future for Minnesotans. It's time to focus. I’m meeting with parents, business owners, elected officials, teachers and school administrators to build support for PreK. It's clear to me that we must make a lasting investment in our kids, Minnesota families, our economy, and our future.
“Ensuring children have access to high-quality early learning is proven to create opportunities in the lives of children. Too many families don't have access to affordable pre-K, especially communities of color who face an incredible achievement gap. We can change that by investing in cost-free, high-quality early learning opportunities for all of Minnesota’s children."
“This surplus is a test for us as leaders and whether we’ll chose to invest in our future and ensure that Minnesota’s economy works for everyone, and not just wealthy special interests. Let’s not forfeit this opportunity to the short-term politics of the day.”
Rep. Rena Moran (DFL-St. Paul) released the following statement:
“Today’s budget surplus announcement only adds to the urgency of helping working parents and children. If we don’t act this session on early childhood and racial equity, while we have the chance to have a strong impact, we can’t say this state stands by low-income families.”
“We need to empower people and we can do that if we make child care more affordable and increase the quality of early childhood programs. That makes it easier for families living on low wages to save for the future, care for their children, and move themselves toward a brighter tomorrow.”
“There’s a lot of people calling for this money to be given away to corporations and the wealthy – and I say, ‘Not while I’m around.’ ”
Rep. Peggy Flanagan (DFL-St. Louis Park) released the following statement:
“It’s tempting to look at the many positive budget forecasts we’ve had and think that we’re doing pretty well, but that would ignore the fact that while the wealthy have been getting wealthier, many of Minnesota’s children and families haven’t been feeling the success of the state’s strengthening economy.”
“In order to get hard-working families back in the game, we need to put this surplus to work. I will work to ensure ordinary Minnesotans are guaranteed equitable access to paid family leave, affordable, accessible child care and early childhood education, quality healthcare, living wage jobs and affordable housing.”
“When we invest in Minnesota children and families, we never lose. Minnesota owes its strong economy to the high quality of our hard-working people, and they need us now to help build a stronger future for their children.”
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