In his State of the State speech last night, DFL Gov. Mark Dayton touted accomplishments of his first term so far, and called for even more state "investments" in transportation, education, health care and jobs.
This morning, Dayton spoke with MPR's Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer. Click the audio player above to hear their conversation. Below are highlights.
On how to pay for new state investments:
"We'll work with the surplus that we have. We have a growing economy right now and we want to keep that growing. We have 150,000 more people working in Minnesota today than when I took office. We've straightened out our fiscal house; we've re-payed the $2.8 billion owed to schools districts. We have a strong financial condition going forward. We need to be careful of that and spend within our means."
"MNsure started out badly and has gotten better. I think it will continue to improve and will be able to demonstrate that. It's enabled 206,000 Minnesotans, many of whom did not have health coverage before, to find affordable, high-quality health coverage."
Medical marijuana bill:
"I'm not willing to sign a bill that's going to distribute leaf marijuana all over the state to be smoked, which is, the last I looked, what the Senate bill permits. I'm willing to find a way that we can get CDB extract from marijuana into pill form to young people, children who have epilepsy and other diseases. There's strong evidence that some of them are helped by this. And that's something that I believe law enforcement supports."