I hope your summer is going well for you and your family, and that you have an enjoyable Independence Day Holiday weekend. Here’s an update from the Capitol.
Yesterday at a dairy farm in Foley, Governor Walz held a bill signing ceremony for this year’s Agriculture, Drought Relief, and Broadband supplemental budget bill. The legislation includes $15 million worth of investment over the next three years in farmers and food production in Minnesota. The bill also included a package of relief for farmers and communities impacted by last year’s historic drought conditions. Finally, the package includes a total of $210 million worth of new investments in broadband.
Agriculture and food production are critical parts of our state economy and vital to the success of rural communities. Beyond that, the food we grow and produce in Minnesota feeds the entire world. This legislation highlights what’s possible when we work together toward a common goal with an eye toward compromise. As I wrap up my work at the Capitol, it’s deeply rewarding to have been part of this successful effort to support farmers in Minnesota and strengthen the future of agriculture in our state.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications from specialty crop and livestock producers for drought relief through July 6. Eligible farmers and producers may receive up to $7,500 for actual expenses incurred after June 1, 2021, and before May 23, 2022. Learn more here.
This session, lawmakers approved $500 million worth of bonus payments for frontline workers who made incredible sacrifices during the pandemic. The State of Minnesota is now accepting applications for these bonus payments. Minnesotans who worked in health care, as first responders, in food service, retail, and more are eligible. To view eligibility criteria and apply, please visit frontlinepay.mn.gov. Applications must be submitted by Friday, July 22.
This session, lawmakers came together to pass a Veterans and Military Affairs bill supporting those who’ve courageously served our nation. This bill invests significant new funding to address veteran homelessness, provides additional funding for Minnesota’s three new veterans homes, and establishes enlistment incentives for members of the Minnesota National Guard.
The budget also includes funding to recognize post-9/11-era veterans – and Gold Star Families – with service bonuses of up to $2,000. There are approximately 48,000 eligible veterans, over half of whom deployed to combat operations including those in Afghanistan or Iraq. We have a long history of awarding service bonuses to Minnesota Veterans who served in America’s wars. Starting in 1919 after World War I, through World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, and now the Global War on Terrorism.
The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is facilitating the program. The application period will begin on July 7 and you can learn more here.
To stay up to date with what’s happening at the State Capitol, the Minnesota House Public Information Services office has a variety of timely, non-partisan resources. You can subscribe to Session Daily which provides regular updates of legislative activity, watch live and archived floor sessions or committee meetings on YouTube, and check out informative publications with information about the legislature and our state government.
It’s extremely important to me to receive input and ideas from those I have the honor to represent. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with your viewpoints, feedback, or if I can ever be of assistance. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and phone number at the Capitol is 651-296-4308. Feel free to be in touch any time.