Dayton to tour state to promote his budget

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Gov. Mark Dayton will travel the state starting this week to make the case for his budget.

The tour starts with a town hall meeting in Duluth on Wednesday. The governor's office says additional dates and sites will be announced later. They're all free and open to the public.

Dayton's office said in a statement Sunday that these "Meetings with Mark" are an effort to engage Minnesotans in personal conversations about his proposed spending increases on education, economic development and local government aid.

The updated budget plan Dayton released on Thursday would levy a new income tax rate on the top 2 percent of earners to help erase a $627 million budget shortfall, bolster preschool through college education, and fund loans and grants for business expansions.

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