STATE OF THE STATE: Dayton calls for changes in education, trans

STATE OF THE STATE: Dayton calls for changes in education, transportation

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -

On Wednesday night, Gov. Mark Dayton gave his long-awaited State of the State address, but although he highlighted many of Minnesota's successes in recent years, he says much more needs to be done.

Typically, these sorts of speeches are more of a compilation of greatest hits from previous sessions. After Dayton took to the podium in the House chambers, he did highlight a few as he told lawmakers the state of the state is "better -- much better than before."

THE HIGHLIGHTS

- Minnesota's economy is 5th best in the nation

- Job creation is on the rise

- A higher minimum wage

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT

- Making the state more competitive

- Expand early-childhood learning

- Transportation infrastructure

NOTABLE QUOTES

"Let us all commit that by 2018, all 3- and 4-year-olds in Minnesota will have access to quality, affordable early childhood education." - Gov. Mark Dayton

"Within the last year and a half, Democrats have repealed the graduation standards tests and now, the governor takes credit for a high graduation rate -- but nobody has gotten a better education because they did that. I think the thing is: We got the best teachers in the country. We need to push our students harder." - Rep. Kurt Daudt, House Minority Leader

"Minnesota offers one of the fewest school days per year in the country. The amount of time students spend in the classroom each day has also declined. Next year's Legislature needs to re-evaluate those practices." - Gov. Mark Dayton

MNDOT NEEDS $6B FOR ROADS

Dayton also challenged the 2015 Legislature to come up with more money for roads because he says the Minnesota Department of Transportation has identified $6 billion in needs.

Although Dayton admitted that sum is expensive, he said it is cheaper than doing nothing.

COMING UP

Tune in to the Fox 9 Morning News at 7:30 a.m. to see a one-on-one discussion with Dayton about his address.

ASK A QUESTION

Do you have a question for Gov. Mark Dayton? Share it with Fox 9's Tim Blotz on Facebook and it may end up in the interview.

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