Category: Policy

MN Capitol

Legislative Update: Health insurance re-emerges as significant issue

During the first few weeks of this year’s Legislative session, Republicans and Democrats worked quickly to pass a bipartisan bill to provide $326 million in premium relief to people who obtain their health insurance through the individual market exchange. When passing the bill, legislators and Gov. Dayton acknowledged that a more permanent solution was needed to avoid skyrocketing insurance premiums for 2018 and to ensure that insurance companies wouldn’t abandon the individual market. During March,

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Buffer near Montevideo, MN

Statement from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association Related to Water Buffer Issue

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA), in response to comments yesterday from Governor Mark Dayton regarding water buffer proposals in the legislature, noted that Minnesota corn farmers across the state are on track toward implementing a variety of innovative measures to help protect water quality throughout farm country in Greater Minnesota.

Governor Dayton, in a recent letter to the association, thanked MCGA for its “excellent work” in showing how to “protect our land,

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MN Legislature

Ag policy issues elevated in Legislature

Earlier this session, both House and Senate leadership established committee deadlines that were earlier in the legislative calendar than those in past legislative sessions. The shorter deadlines mean that key policy legislation needs crisp action to adhere to leadership’s strict schedule. By last Friday, for example, all bills that have been introduced had to pass out of committees in their house of origin to remain viable. As a result, agriculture issues received a significant amount of attention during the week.

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MN House 2017

Legislative Update: Larger budget surplus drives tax reform talk

According to the Minnesota Management and Budget’s (MMB) February Forecast, which was issued on Tuesday, Feb. 28, the state is projected to have a slightly larger budget surplus than what was predicted back in November. As has been mentioned before, policymakers have been discussing a variety of ways to manage the budget surplus, now estimated at approximately $1.65 billion for the two-year budget cycle that begins July 1.

Tax relief measures are among the more popular proposals of how to allocate the surplus.

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Commodity Classic 2017

Commodity Classic 2017 draws thousands

Commodity Classic 2017 is well underway this week in San Antonio. The annual event, held March 2-4 this year, is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention bringing together the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers for meetings and more.

The show attendance for 2017 is estimated to be at more than 9,000 individuals, with at least 4,000 of those attendees being farmers.

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2017 Minnesota Session

Legislative Update: Tax debate to start soon

It is expected that state legislators will receive the most up-to-date state revenue and spending projections on Feb. 28 from the Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) office. This report is often referred to as the February Forecast. According to MMB, “The February Forecast helps ensure these proposals remain on track and in balance,” and helps the Governor and the legislature to sculpt their final budget plans. The February Forecast will also be used to guide state tax policy for the next two years.

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MN House 2017

Bills beginning to move at Capitol

Legislative leadership recently established deadlines to move bills through the process during the 2017 session. These deadlines are earlier than recent legislative sessions. As a result, we should start to see increased action at the committee and floor level on legislation that could impact corn farmers.

Under the schedule approved by Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, all bills that have been introduced must be passed by the house of origin by Friday,

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2017 Legislative Update

Legislative update: Rural issues remain top of mind

Significant farm and rural issues are receiving considerable attention at the State Capitol and earlier committee deadlines this year are contributing to a faster pace of bill introductions and committee discussions. Here’s a quick update on some of the key issues of interest to corn farmers.

Water Quality

On Friday, Feb. 3, at the Minnesota Environmental Congress, Gov. Dayton announced that he wanted a “25 by 25” plan concerning Minnesota’s water resources – a 25-percent improvement in water quality by the year 2025.

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Strip tillage on the Biegler farm

Water Summit addresses concerns, solutions for water quality

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

A packed auditorium of farmers, local residents and government officials from across the state came together for Governor Dayton’s second annual Town Hall Water Summit, held on the campus of University of Minnesota-Morris in late January.

Water SummitThe day-long event focused on the complex issues facing Minnesota’s waters in both rural and urban areas of the state, and solutions to help improve water quality.

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2017 Minnesota Session

Early legislative action is favorable for farmers

Written by John Himle

In late December I remarked in this space how the 2016 election would be one for the history books. If the first few weeks of 2017 under the capitol dome are any indication, then this legislative session may likewise become one for future study.

Before the opening gavel and through the first few weeks of the session, both the Governor and Legislative leaders voiced strong opinions about the health insurance crisis looming in the state’s individual marketplace,

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