Tag: Buffers

MN Capitol

Legislative Update: Lawmakers pick up negotiations on key topics

State legislators returned to St. Paul from their annual Spring Break this week to open House-Senate negotiations on the state budget, taxes and other issues, including several bills that impact corn farmers and agriculture. Prior to the Easter/Passover break, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) took the lead in organizing a media outreach effort to raise awareness of key ag issues and urge farmers and rural residents to contact legislators during the break. The MCGA effort generated dozens of media mentions across Minnesota,

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Buffer near Montevideo, MN

Buffers: Here’s where we are at

One of the most important topics to farmers during the 2017 legislative session, the buffer law was created to protect state water resources from erosion and runoff pollution. While farmers agree with the intended outcome, many are concerned with various aspects of timing and implementation of the buffers.

At the Capitol, the House and Senate proposed legislation that includes delaying buffer law implementation, modified definitions of public waters and necessary buffer widths,

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2017 Minnesota Session

MN Legislative Update: Lawmakers return to full agenda

Minnesota State Legislators return to St. Paul on April 18 with a significant number of issues to address during the closing five weeks of the 2017 session. Leaders in both the House and Senate established earlier committee deadlines to better manage larger pieces legislation before the session is scheduled to end and to avoid the potential for a special session. As a result, several bills with impacts to the agriculture sector could be taken up soon.

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2017 Legislative Update

Connect with lawmakers during legislative Spring Break

Talk to your legislators this week! State policymakers are making headway at the capitol on several significant issues. But before many of the major decisions are made, legislators will take a one-week break beginning April 10 to meet with local constituents and recharge.

The legislative Spring Break is the perfect time for Minnesota’s farmers to make their voices heard. The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) urges members and others from rural Minnesota to contact state lawmakers and express their views about a few key issues that need to be resolved in the closing weeks of the 2017 legislative session.

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2017 Minnesota Session

Legislative Update: Major bills moving to closure

In the days leading up to the Legislature’s annual Spring Break (April 7-16), several high-profile bills have either received approval and await Gov. Dayton’s action or are making the final turns in the legislative process before moving forward for the Governor’s approval.

Health Insurance Reform
Although Congress was unable to pass a health insurance reform package in March, the Minnesota Legislature did. Both the Senate and House passed the reinsurance plan that we have discussed in recent weeks,

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MN House 2017

Legislative Update: State budget proposals unveiled

Under the Minnesota Constitution, the State Legislature and Governor are responsible for developing a new state budget every two years. Budgets are crafted during odd numbered years, immediately following the previous year’s elections. The state’s fiscal budget year is July 1 – June 30, so the legislature and Governor have a real deadline, unless they are prepared to risk a government shutdown.

How well a state budget is developed and adopted depends in part on ideological differences between those who control the state’s House,

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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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