Minnesota Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Torrey Westrom is optimistic the differences between the House and Senate versions of drought relief can be worked out. “We could come to a resolution on a $10 million relief package quickly if we could stay focused on farmers and not joining other controversial issues that don’t have the urgency this farmer drought relief package does,” said Westrom. “Hopefully, the House will back off and separate the two.” The House bill has $13 million for the Department of Natural Resources; the Senate version does not. House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Paul Anderson is on the conference committee and does not see the urgency of including the DNR tree seedlings in the immediate drought relief. “I’m not saying trees aren’t important, but the ground is still frozen. We can’t be out there planting trees next week.”
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