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Letter: More to the story on ag finance bill

A bill that would fund agriculture and rural development needs for the next two years is on its way to Governor Dayton's desk for his signature. I sponsored the legislation.

A bill that would fund agriculture and rural development needs for the next two years is on its way to Governor Dayton’s desk for his signature. I sponsored the legislation.

Ag finance proposals have always been the least controversial spending proposals in the budget, yet this year Governor Dayton is playing politics with the bill, and that’s disheartening for every single person in this state.

Last Thursday, along with House and Senate leadership, I met with the governor and agriculture commissioner. He said at the end of that meeting he felt very positive, and I recall the governor saying that if an agreement could be reached with the ag commissioner that he would support it. At the conclusion of that meeting, the House and Senate worked out their differences, and I was very hopeful that work on the ag bill had concluded.

On Saturday, the same parties met again and “the wheels fell off.” Items that had been agreed upon were now back up for debate, and several items that were not on the governor’s “must have” list now suddenly appeared.  

Afterwards, the governor held a press conference and said that all that was talked about was policy issues. That’s not accurate.

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The meetings on the ag finance bill were frustrating and discouraging. If this is a reflection on what’s taking place with all the other budget bills, we’re going to be here for a long time, and that’s very sad because it does not have to be this way.

Related Topics: AGRICULTURE
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