ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Gov. Mark Dayton is urging lawmakers to protect the financial stability he's prioritized during his two terms in office.
The Democratic governor delivered his eighth and final State of the State address on Wednesday. He is not seeking re-election and will leave office early next year.
But the speech was short on specific proposals for the Republican-controlled Legislature to consider this year. Dayton recapped the $6 billion budget shortfall he inherited in 2011 and called on lawmakers to protect years of budget surpluses.
He also emphasized the importance of recent increases in public school funding and new programs such as all-day kindergarten and expanded preschool offerings.
It comes a year after Dayton collapsed while delivering the annual address. Dayton joked of ending early "to make certain I can walk out by myself."