Republican candidate for governor Marty Seifert suggested Friday that a portion of Minnesota's budget reserves, typically accumulated to protect against economic downturns, should be used to boost state spending on road construction.
Seifert held a Capitol press conference to lay out what he called "Priorities for Minnesota Families." He said as governor, he would push the Legislature to shield Minnesota senior citizens from paying social security taxes on earned benefits; and seek an infusion of state money to build new roads and repair crumbling ones.
Earlier this year, Gov. Mark Dayton and lawmakers increased the budget reserve to $811 million. Seifert said $500 million should suffice, and that the rest could be spent on roads. Seifert said he'd also seek to cancel planned light rail construction, and trim non-construction spending at the Department of Transportation, to find more money for roads. He said he would not support a gas tax increase or other new revenue streams for transportation.
Seifert, a former House minority leader from Marshall, is one of four contenders in Tuesday's GOP primary for governor. The winner will take on Dayton in November.