ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) – Minnesota House Democrats this week proposed using 500 million dollars of the state’s expected budget surplus to beef-up early childhood education programs, including pre-K, scholarships and childcare assistance.

Governor Tim Walz indicates he’s not passing judgment yet on whether there’s room in the surplus to do that, but isn’t opposed to the idea either.

“This is an area that Minnesotans agree upon, it’s smart, it’s near and dear to my heart, world-class quality education,” said Gov. Walz.

Walz says he’s waiting to see what the next budget forecast says later this month.

Republicans want to send a significant amount of the surplus back to Minnesotans in the form of tax relief.