After ten hours of debate Thursday, the Minnesota House passed an omnibus supplemental bill that includes agriculture, environment, job growth and state government finance bills. This bill includes $35 million for the Rural Finance Authority. There’s increased funding for mental health counseling services for farmers and support for the Farm Advocates program. In addition, there is language that would prevent the Minnesota Agriculture Department from implementing its nitrogen fertilizer rules without legislative approval. Governor Dayton has promised to veto the bill if it includes that policy language. If Dayton follows through on that promise, agriculture lobbyist Bruce Kleven says the veto would impact the entire bill. “There are two weeks remaining in the session. There are other files where this language could be added as an amendment. They also could negotiate it out in a conference committee. Lawmakers could take it out and replace something in exchange. I don’t know if the legislature will forge ahead and risk everything under a veto, they’ll work it out somehow. Dayton really wants to sign the nitrogen rule before he leaves.”
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