Dayton warns of budget struggle due to policy battles

Published 7:57 am Friday, May 5, 2017

ST. PAUL — Gov. Mark Dayton worries smaller skirmishes over policy changes will hang up a deal for a new state budget.

Dayton and Republicans who control the Legislature have more than two weeks to find a compromise for a two-year budget. But there is more to debate than the roughly $1 billion that separates the two sides’ spending plans.

Republicans’ state agency funding package would kill Minnesota’s public campaign subsidy system. The Legislature’s environment budget would delay a water quality measure requiring buffers between crops and waterways by two years.

Dayton said Thursday those provisions and others like them need to be removed to ease the path to a deal. Republicans say tweaking laws is a normal part of the budget process.

Legislative leaders say they plan to resume budget negotiations Friday.