Dayton signs ag bill, hopes for future agreements with GOPby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Gov. Mark Dayton signed an agriculture budget bill Friday morning that spends nearly $80 million over the next two years on food inspections, alternative energy and other agriculture programs.
At the same time, it cuts spending for the state agriculture department.
It's the first of the budget that Dayton and Republican legislative leaders have been able to agree to. After signing the bill, Dayton said it's a good model for reaching agreements on other parts of the budget.
Dayton said if future bills align closely with his budget proposal, "Then I'm willing to proceed as we did with this one. I hope that will be the case with every one of them."
Sen. Doug Magnus, R-Slayton, said he hopes that other lawmakers look to their agreement as a guiding example.
"At the end of the day you realize that no one gets everything they want here," Magnus said. "Everyone has to give a little bit and we do and that's what we did here."
The agriculture budget bill accounts for less than 1 percent of the state's total general fund budget.
Dayton and Republican lawmakers are at odds over bigger portions of the budget, including education and health and human services programs.
Dayton wants to raise income taxes on top earners to erase a $5 billion budget deficit. Republicans say they can erase the deficit through spending cuts.