ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The first slice of emergency funding for the state’s response to a deadly bird flu outbreak is heading to Gov. Mark Dayton.

The Senate unanimously passed a bill sending nearly $900,000 to the Board of Animal Health and the Department of Agriculture for response efforts. The House passed the same bill Wednesday and Dayton has promised to sign it.

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To date, nearly 4 million turkeys and chickens at 67 Minnesota farms have died or been euthanized.

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State officials are mulling an additional $7 million to cover response costs over the next year and setting up a low-interest loan program for affected farmers.

House lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday to compensate farmers for birds that died of the flu. The federal government only reimburses farmers for euthanized animals.

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