ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton has signed the least disputed budget bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

The Democratic governor held a bipartisan signing ceremony Friday to approve a two-year spending package that cuts 5 percent from budgets for farm programs. He and the bill’s lead GOP negotiators say it could serve as a model for a budget deal.

That deal remains elusive, with Dayton seeking to raise high-end income taxes and Republicans vowing to erase a $5 billion deficit without state tax increases. They also remain divided on policy and priorities for large spending areas such as public schools and health care.

The farm bill also settles up promised ethanol producer payments before those subsidies are phased out.

Dayton says he also signed a bill adjusting Green Acres tax breaks for agricultural land.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (6)
  1. dan says:

    The sooner we can eliminate the Ethanol Subsidies the better off we will be.

  2. Dave Campbell says:

    I’m guessing that within 7 years, most of the Ethanol plants will be sitting idle. The Ethanol industry in general is a huge joke. It takes more energy and water to produce a gallon of Ethanol and it is way to high priced at the pumps. With the drop in power and fuel economy, Ethanol should be priced about half what is to make it worth buying!

  3. vj in mn says:

    The only reason politicians continue to embrace ethanol subsidies is for the farmer-vote. If you asked most of them what they really thought about the ethanol program, they’d tell you it was a terrible, inefficient, and resource-draining alternative. No one wants to touch this politically. It’s not sustainable and will lead to severe corn shortages, not to mention the huge waste of water used in production.

    1. Isnt it Ironic says:

      It is my understanding that approx. 95% of the Ethanol Subsidies go to to the owers of the ethanol plants, Cargill. Oh, and way to go shoving more ethenol down are throats – in the midwest – while the automotive industry isnt spending a nickle on engine research to accomadate more than 10%

  4. Isnt It Ironic says:

    Is it me, the Libretarian, or is every sector of our society on the government TIT?

    Heaven help the family farmer, hard working, typically low paying, the type of person some of these programs were meant to help, but more and more funding goes to corporate farms or millionare farmers.

    Neither party has the spin (to say it kindly) to say NO. This program needs to be eliminated.

  5. Yes it is ironic says:

    Funny how the ethanol boondoggle is visible by both liberals and conservatives yet it continues as though it is at all appropriate. I’m sick of the gov simply giving our money away like a charity clearinghouse.

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