Last week, the Minnesota Senate passed the agriculture omnibus finance bill. Now, Minnesota Senate Ag Committee Chairman Torrey Westrom is waiting on the House to pass their bill. Once that happens, the bills will be reviewed in conference. The Senate has a tighter budget target than the House. “There are no tax increases in the Senate finance bills this year. The House may raise fees on pesticides or farmer inputs, but we don’t have those increases. We had a zero budget increase overall, except for the one time $40 million for rural broadband.” Westrom says federal COVID relief money for Minnesota may allow lawmakers to do more, including additional funds for meat processing and rural broadband. “We have talked about it, but we don’t have the answer and there’s some tension there.”
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