ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton is again pressing Republican leaders to agree to a special session to offer help to unemployed steelworkers.

Dayton also cites the need to “address the serious disparities affecting Minnesotans of color” in his letter Tuesday to House Speaker Kurt Daudt.

Dayton, a Democrat, highlighted census data showing a sharp drop in median income for black Minnesotans as well as a rising poverty rate. Dayton said he would request a $15 million investment as a start in addressing such problems, with specifics to be worked out later.

Dayton also wants to extend unemployment benefits due to expire for hundreds of laid-off steelworkers on Minnesota’s Iron Range.

Daudt didn’t immediately respond to a message left at his office.

(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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