At the Capitol: April 17-21
Each week during the Minnesota legislative session, the Minnesota Farm Bureau will highlight its work with elected officials to support our members and agriculture. While we advocate for our members on a wide variety of topics, our Board of Directors set six priority issues for the 2023 state legislative session, and our efforts to advance those issues are highlighted below.
Recap: Week of April 17-21
Our public policy team and leadership has been connecting with elected officials and other policy influencers to share our member’s stories, and build relationships to reinforce our position as a leader in agriculture issues in Minnesota.
Here are the bills that moved through this week:
S.F. 1955 (Vang) The House Agriculture omnibus finance bill passed through the Ways and Means Committee and moved to the House floor, where the bill passed on a 78-50 vote.
The House bill includes provisions in line with MFBF priority issues that our policy supports including: voluntary soil health programs, biofuel infrastructure grant funding, meat processing investments, funding for the Agriculture Emergency Account and Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, investment into new and emerging farmers and funding for mental health services. The bill also includes $100 million in general fund dollars for broadband.
The bill also includes provisions regarding regulation of treated seed and modifications to the Board of Animal Health. MFBF will continue to be a part of these conversations throughout conference committee, where the House and Senate will iron out the differences between bills.
H.F. 2310 (Hansen) The House Environment and Natural Resources and Climate and Energy omnibus finance bill was heard on the House Floor and passed on a 69-59 vote. The bill was amended to take out the provisions relating to the MPCA Citizen Board and feedlot financial assurance. The bill still contains provisions impacting crop protections tools, such as creating and instituting policies for proper use and disposal of neonicotinoid pesticide, and the drainage registry information portal. MFBF will continue to be a part of these conversations throughout conference committee, where the House and Senate will iron out the differences between bills.
H.F. 2310 (Hawj) The Senate Environment, Climate and Legacy omnibus finance bill was heard and passed through the Senate Finance committee. The bill was amended to include the Senate Energy, Utilities, Environment and Climate bill. The bill moved to the Senate floor, where the bill passed on a 37-29 vote.
This bill contains $37 million for a voluntary soil health program through the Minnesota Board of Soil and Water Resources. This program will allow local government units to receive grants to purchase equipment for producer use to implement soil health practices on their operations.