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Dayton to travel state to make case for his budget

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
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Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton will travel the state starting this week to make the case for his budget, beginning with a town hall meeting Wednesday in Duluth, his office announced Sunday.

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The events are free and open to the public. Additional dates and sites will be announced later. The Duluth event will be held at 6 p.m. in the Public Safety Building at 2030 N. Arlington Ave.

Dayton's office said in a statement Sunday that the events are an effort to engage Minnesotans about his proposed spending increases on education, economic development and local government aid.

The updated two-year budget plan Dayton released Thursday leans heavily on a new income tax rate levied on the top 2 percent of annual earners to raise an additional $1.1 billion in the next two years from an estimated 54,000 filers. The money would help erase a $627 million budget shortfall, bolster preschool through college education and stock up loan and grant funds for business expansions.

In all, the Democratic governor is seeking more than $1.8 billion in previously proposed new taxes, including a higher cigarette tax and extra burdens on Minnesota companies that can now shield profits they make overseas. But he officially ditched an unpopular sales tax expansion proposal after a new economic forecast trimmed Minnesota's projected deficit by more than 40 percent from what was expected when he issued his original budget proposal in January.

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Associated Press
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