For more information contact: Gina Kunesh 651-296-5526
As the legislative session progresses, deadlines are set for bills to be heard in committee and make their way to the House floor to be debated by the entire 134 House members. The first and second committee deadlines occurred earlier this month and the third and final deadline for any committee to act on major financing bills is set for this evening at midnight.
Urban Ag and Racial/Economic Equity Legislation Update
The House Republicans released their budget spending targets in early April. Each area of finance is given a spending budget by the current Republican Majority which sets the tone for their priorities. The area of Agriculture for the entire state was given only $2 million for new initiatives from Minnesota’s nearly $900 million surplus. Sadly, my urban agriculture legislation has not been included in the final House Republican Agriculture Policy and Finance Omnibus bill.
Although I am grateful my bills brought awareness to the Agriculture Committee members and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I am extremely disappointed and frustrated that the House Republicans chose not to prioritize these urban farming programs that not only benefit low income individuals in our neighborhoods, but statewide. The food justice crisis is a significant threat to Minnesota families and our state’s wellbeing as a whole.
I will continue to work hard for urban farmers and with our MN State DFL Senators on strategy for funding this session. It should have been part of the MN Senate’s economic and racial equity package and they still have time to include it. Please call your state senators to urge inclusion of Urban Agriculture as a major food and racial justice issue for our neighborhoods.
My bill to appropriate a one-time sum of $5 million in bonds for the Norway House in Minneapolis was heard in the House Bonding Committee on Tuesday. It is for construction, renovation, furnishing and land acquisition for the Center on Franklin Avenue. We will see if this legislation will be included in the final House Republican bonding bill, which has a $600 million budget target.
As committees are wrapping up their work, and most of our time will shift to the House floor for debate of the final omnibus bills.
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