Legislative Update: Getting down to crunch time

Anna Boroff

Anna Boroff, MCGA Senior Public Policy Director.

Written by Anna Boroff, Minnesota Corn Growers Association Senior Public Policy Director

With less than two weeks remaining before the current Minnesota legislative session is constitutionally required to end (on May 23), we’re coming up on crunch time to reach deals on a bonding bill, transportation and property tax relief.

Here’s a real quick update on where a few things stand at the moment:

Property taxes
No new developments to report. However, be sure to watch the below news segment from KAAL-TV in Rochester on agricultural property taxes. It’s more than worth your time.

Transportation
Both republicans and democrats appeared to have tentatively agreed on a dollar amount for a transportation bill: $600 million. How it will be funded is still up in the air.

Senate democrats say that they have conceded some on a gas tax. Instead of a tax on the cost of gas, they favor a straight gas tax that would rise over three years. Republicans say they will accept a metro sales tax to fund mass transit, if there are some reforms made to the Met Council. A counter offer from the House could come later this week.

Bonding
The Senate tried to pass a $1.5 billion bonding bill last week, but it failed. We have yet to see a House bonding bill, but republican House leaders have moved away from their previous position of a $600 million bill, saying that they know there aren’t enough votes to pass a bill at that number.

Buffers
It wouldn’t be a Minnesota Corn legislative update without mentioning buffers. If you missed it earlier this week, be sure to read our blog post on everything buffers. We did our best to answer farmers’ questions about last year’s law and the clarification bill passed during the current session.

Ag Take
I wanted to close this post by giving a quick plug to “Ag Take,” a e-publication compiled by Blois Olson that focuses on news and policy developments from the world of Minnesota agriculture. It’s a must-read if you’re a busy farmer trying to keep up with the world of agriculture politics and news.

You can subscribe to AgTake and read past issues here.

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