ST. PAUL – State Representative Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, today said Governor Tim Pawlenty’s proposed $108 million increase in K-12 funding is “the right thing to do” and shows the legislature’s commitment to funding education in Minnesota.
“We said last year that if the economy improved we would look to put the money in education and that is what we intend to do,” Urdahl said.
The increase is in response to the February economic forecast which showed the economy is improving more than expected and lowered the overall deficit projected for the next biennium. Much of the $108 million increase goes to special education, which continues to put a squeeze on school budgets. The governor also set aside $10 million to be used as tax credits for venture capital focused on rural areas.
“I am glad the governor continues to value the agriculture industry. This money combined with other incentives I’ve proposed and what we passed last year helps promote our ag industries,” Urdahl said.
The supplemental budget also sets aside $75 million to offset any loses in federal funding that may occur when congress sets the federal budget later this year.