Gov. Mark Dayton on Saturday threatened the veto of any education budget bill if legislative leaders do not include universal preschool and $150 million more for education above the level included in a deal announced Friday. 

The veto threat is the latest turn in a fast-dwindling legislative session that appeared to be coming to a conclusion Friday night when legislative leaders announced an agreement. Dayton, however, immediately objected to the deal that Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, and House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crow, announced.

Dayton is standing firm on his universal preschool proposal, and he also said the education budget target of $400 million is too low.

"I'm going to veto $400 million because it's wrong for the people of Minnesota, for the parents of Minnesota, and for the schoolchildren of Minnesota -- it's wrong," Dayton said Saturday in a news conference.

In an effort to compromise, he said he agreed to reduce his original proposal of $694 million in new spending. All-day universal preschool represented more than half of that in his budget request, but his latest offer is to scale that back to half-day programming.

"It's just nonsensical that they won't agree to another $150 million for better-quality education," Dayton said. 

Photo: Gov. Mark Dayton attends the groundbreaking of the planned Hmong Lao Veterans Memorial Statue near the Capitol Saturday. (Jim Gehrz/Star Tribune)

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Minn. budget fight comes down to Dayton's focus on preschool

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Minn. Senate Majority Leader Bakk warns Dayton a veto would be 'risky'