Minnesota Legislature passes bill repaying school aid

Minnesota Legislature passes bill repaying school aid Click to Enlarge Photo:

Apr 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Legislature has sent Gov. Mark Dayton a bill to tap into state budget reserves in order to start repaying about $2.4 billion owed to Minnesota school districts.

The House and Senate passed the GOP-sponsored bill Monday on party-line votes. It would shift $430 million out of state rainy-day funds in order to accelerate repayment of state aid to schools delayed in recent years to help cover state budget deficits.

Republicans say that newly replenished budget reserves allow the state to settle debts. The GOP plan would cut the state's reserves from $657 million to about $227 million.

Democrats, including Dayton, say budget reserves keep the state's finances stable. Some Democrats have proposed repaying schools by closing tax loopholes they say unfairly benefit certain corporations.

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