Avian Influenza Conference Committee Concludes Business

(St. Paul, MN)- The conference committee on Senator Kevin Dahle’s (DFL-Northfield) Avian Flu relief bill approved joint language this afternoon, allowing appropriated state money to begin making its way to farmers and those affected by the virus.

The spread of the virus and ongoing responses to it were the focus of much of the conference committee’s proceedings, as Representatives and Senators debated the finer details of the two different versions.

“The end result of this conference committee was good, and it’s one I’m proud to have led on behalf of the Senate. There had been some differences, of course, but I’m happy that Republicans and Democrats from both chambers are able to stand together for Minnesota’s turkey producers,” said Sen. Dahle. “We will still have to address additional funding as we continue to gauge how far this virus spreads, but we’ve bought the state some time.”

The conference committee heard expert testimony on the bill from commissioners and directors, who spoke of the difficulties in addressing the epidemic effectively. All agreed that the money is badly needed, and thanked the committee for working quickly to send the $900,000 appropriation to the communities that need it. The Senate version of the bill included a provision that allows the state to better access incoming federal funding, which was adopted by the committee.

The agreement will now be sent to both the House and the Senate for final approval before moving on to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

For more information, contact Bryan Wells at 651-296-5561.

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Senator Kevin Dahle
Kevin Dahle represents District 20, which includes portions of Le Sueur, Rice, and Scott counties in the south central part of the state.

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