For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
You are hearing more from me lately as I want to keep you up to date on the fast moving activities at Capitol.
One of the things you don’t hear about from the broader media is the amount of bipartisan cooperation that occurs within the State Capitol. People are often led to believe that everything’s a fight when bills are debated on the Minnesota House floor, and that just isn’t the case.
Over the past two days, four of five omnibus proposals have been approved with overwhelming bipartisan support, and two of them were on unanimous votes. Check out the following vote totals:
Public Safety: 94-37
Legacy Funding: 131-0
Agriculture Policy: 109-25
Agriculture Finance: 134-0
A brief summary of the bills that were most recently approved can be found below.
Legacy funding comes from proceeds of a constitutionally dedicated sales tax passed by Minnesota voters in 2008 for clean water, arts, and cultural heritage projects. The highlight provision within this plan is a significant investment to restore and protect Minnesota’s water, including drinking water. Also included are a number of reforms to ensure there’s more accountability in how future Legacy funds are spent. A number of central Minnesota projects would benefit from provisions in the bill.
This proposal centered on non-financial related provisions that can help improve agriculture and rural development in our state. Some of the language includes changing the financial threshold that farmers must meet in order to participate in the state’s debt mediation program, providing new definitions for pesticide use, and making some alterations to existing fence laws.
As its title indicates, this proposal focused on spending within Minnesota’s ag industry. Special focus in this bill is given to plant agriculture, emerging noxious weed threats, and investment in the future of agricultural practices and technologies. Continued support for ag education and farm safety was also included.
Clearly, the Minnesota House will be debating some contentious bills this year, and I have little doubt you will hear about them on the news. But I think it’s important to note that there are many pieces of legislation, like the ones noted above, that receive strong bipartisan support every legislative session. Believe it or not, lawmakers often do get along and get things done for the people of Minnesota, even though that cooperation may not make the headlines.
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