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.
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