ST. PAUL (AP) -- Key legislators reached agreement early Saturday on a $548 million funding bill for environment and agriculture programs that includes little new state spending.
The bill, which funds the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Agriculture, the Pollution Control Agency and other state programs, contains $16 million in new funding on top of a $532 million base.
It still needs approval from the full House and Senate during a special session, which could occur as soon as next week, before Gov. Jesse Ventura can sign the legislation into law.
The committee worked on the measure into the early morning hours.
"This has been the most frustrating experience because we just have all these needs out there," said Sen. Len Price, DFL-Woodbury, explaining that the committee effectively had $5 million to dole out for competing projects after budgeting an inflationary increase for state agencies.
Under the final bill, the DNR also would receive less money from the lottery proceeds than it did last year. The budget agreement required that $5 million of the lottery revenue go to the general fund, instead of the DNR. The rest of the $22 million from that particular designation of lottery proceeds would be split between game and fish projects, state parks, metro parks, and trails.
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