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: Weeks of May 1-5

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:

H.F. 1938 (Rest) The Senate Tax omnibus bill passed through the Senate Tax Committee and the Senate floor on Tuesday on a party line vote (34-33). This bill reflects $4 billion in tax cuts, including a $1.24 billion social security tax cut. It also includes a one-time rebate check in the amount of $279 for single filers making up to $75,000 and $558 for couples making up to $150,000.

Provisions MFBF Supported in the Senate Bill include:

  • Extending the Beginning Farmer Tax credit to include the sale of agricultural assets to family members; and
  • Homestead valuation, raising the agricultural valuation limit to $3.5 million. Agricultural land values have been rising at a rapid pace and the current size of an agricultural homestead has not kept up with what is commercially viable.

 It is now headed to Conference Committee with the house. MFBF will work with the Conference Committee to ensure that agriculture and our rural communities have a tax code that reflects their unique needs.

 Agriculture and Environment: 
Both the House and Senate Agriculture Conference Committee and House and Senate Environment Conference Committee continue to negotiate both bills and meet periodically to adopt agreed upon language.

Federal Updates
On May 1, Senator Tina Smith introduced S 1389, a bill to reform rural housing programs. The bill seeks to make changes and updates to the USDA’s Rural Housing Authority by addressing issues with Section 515 properties, updating the USDA’s income measurement process, and modernizing USDA’s foreclosure process.

On May 3, Senator Amy Klobuchar introduced S 1415, a bill to establish a Rural Export Center. Senator Tina Smith is a co-sponsor. The legislation would require the Assistant Secretary of Commerce to create a Rural Export Center, which work to help rural businesses find export markets for their products.

On May 4, the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Programs, Credit, and Crop Insurance held a hearing. Also, Senator Amy Klobuchar introduced S 1474, a bill to amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to establish dairy nutrition incentive program.