Letter: Important work still being done in St. PaulWith less than a month left in the 2010 Legislative Session, progress on some important issues — such as the state deficit, agriculture, veterans and energy — is being made.
By: Dist. 22A Rep. Doug Magnus, R-Slayton, Worthington Daily Globe
With less than a month left in the 2010 Legislative Session, progress on some important issues — such as the state deficit, agriculture, veterans and energy — is being made.
Roughly one third of the projected $900 million deficit has been eliminated. We’ve not made any changes to the health and human services or the K-12 education budgets, and I expect new proposals altering some funding in these areas will make their way to the House floor in the coming weeks.
An agriculture and veterans policy bill has made its way through the committee process and will likely be debated by the entire Minnesota House in early May. I am the Republican Lead on the Agriculture, Rural Economies, and Veterans Affairs Finance Division.
Some of this issues addressed in the bill include ethanol content, livestock permitting and the Veterans Preference Act. It also directs the veterans affairs commissioner to plan for three new veterans cemeteries in northeast, southeast, and southwestern Minnesota.
In addition, my bill requiring the Department of Agriculture and the Office of Energy to analyze the current propane and anhydrous ammonia infrastructure in Minnesota is also moving forward in House committees, having been approved in the Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Finance Division, as well as the Energy Finance and Policy Division.
The bill looks to the future to anticipate what our demand will be for these products ten years from now. For the last several years there have been some troubling issues with propane and anhydrous ammonia availability and distribution in Minnesota, as the need to mechanically dry corn and soybeans had increased the demand — and price — for the products.
As I’ve said before, we have a 1940s supply infrastructure trying to service a 21st century industry. If infrastructure improvements are needed they will take some time to implement, and will also require large amounts of funds. We need to take steps now to position our state for increased agriculture productivity.
The Minnesota Senate has already approved its version of the propane and anhydrous ammonia infrastructure bill.