ST. PAUL, Minn. – Today, the Senate DFL passed its Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture budget bill through the full Senate Finance committee. The legislation invests in measures that create jobs, make Minnesota a more competitive place to do business, and ensure the protection of our natural resources and rural economy.
“The last few years have been tough on hardworking Minnesotans. Only recently have we started coming back from thousands of job losses and economic struggles. This bill puts pressure on our current progress by making job creation and economic development across the state a top priority,” said Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture Division Chair Senator David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm). “We are building upon investments that work and expanding into new markets to strengthen Minnesota’s economic growth.”
Key investments made in this legislation include—
· Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF): $30 million
· Job Creation Fund (Replaces JOBZ): $25 million
· Global Competitive Initiative: $1.5 million
· Housing and Jobs Growth Initiative: $15 million
· Renewed funding for groups who received money under the competitive grant program last year
In addition to job and business growth initiatives, the DFL makes the environment a priority by investing in mobile monitoring equipment and providing resources for the continuation of chemical monitoring in the east metro. Furthermore, $7.5 million is allocated to the DNR for its continued efforts in dealing with aquatic invasive species.
This legislation also lays out funding for grants in agriculture research and education, as well as incentivizes the use of Minnesota-made solar panels and broadband expansion in areas without or limited services.
Senator Dan Sparks (DFL-Austin), chair of the Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and co-author of this budget bill, commented, “Ensuring Minnesota’s continued lead in the agriculture industry depends on the investments we make in research and education today. Our rural economy also benefits from the bill’s emphasis on increasing high-speed internet access, adoption and use. This expansion is vital to diversifying Minnesota’s rural economy and keeping our businesses competitive.”
“We’ve crafted this bill to be as comprehensive as possible. To create as many jobs as we can and keep people moving through the pipeline,” Sen. Tomassoni continued. “This legislation has many good investments and initiatives that respond to Minnesotan’s shared priorities and get folks back to work.”
The Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture budget bill will likely be heard on the Senate floor at the end of the week.