After adding an amendment meant to increase farm safety, the House Agriculture Finance Committee approved the omnibus agriculture finance bill Friday.
Sponsored by Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake), HF895, as amended, would appropriate more than $118 million in net General Fund spending during the upcoming biennium to fund the Department of Agriculture, Board of Animal Health and Agricultural Utilization Research Institute.
The bill, which was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee, contains dozens of provisions and now includes language from an amendment offered by Rep. Clark Johnson (DFL-North Mankato) that would formally establish a Farm Safety Working Group.
The 16-member group would consist of government, agriculture and citizen members who would advise the department and Legislature on farm safety issues and coordinate improvement efforts.
The committee also adopted two other amendments.
The first changed language that Hamilton felt better described the urban agriculture provision in the bill, modifying the description to “urban youth agricultural education; urban agriculture community development.”
This amendment would also require the Agriculture Department to submit a base budget report to the Legislature by October 2018; and would make two fund transfers.
Rep. Jeanne Poppe (DFL-Austin) said the omnibus bill proves lawmakers can work together and thanked Hamilton for including DFL provisions.
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton to use mediation to resolve a funding dispute. In an opinion issued Friday, the court also ruled that Dayton’s use of the line-item veto to strip biennial funding for the Legislature was constitutional.
A Ramsey County judge on Wednesday ruled that Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of legislative funding violated the state’s constitution.
House and Senate leadership OK a resolution to seek outside legal representation in an effort to restore funding for the Legislature that Gov. Mark Dayton line-item vetoed earlier this week.
Day three of the 2017 special session saw lawmakers pass final omnibus bills to be sent to Gov. Mark Dayton, with weary House members wrapping up their work at 2:42 a.m. Friday following a week of long days — and nights — at the State Capitol.
Lawmakers on conference committees must sort through competing bills before finalizing a product to send to the governor.
The budget process explained — and why it matters
$45 billion plan is about a 10 percent increase over current biennium
Governor urges lawmakers to pass a big capital investment bill during budget-setting year; House Speaker has expressed doubt over bonding this session
It was a day of selfies, swearings-in and standing ovations as the House opened the 2017-18 biennial session Tuesday.