Agriculture Omnibus Bill Passes through the Senate Agriculture, Broadband, and Rural Development Committee with Bipartisan Support
SAINT PAUL, Minn.– In the Senate Agriculture, Broadband, and Rural Development Committee on Wednesday, Chair Senator Aric Putnam (DFL-St. Cloud) passed the omnibus budget bill with almost unanimous, bipartisan support, securing transformative investment in farmers and in Greater Minnesota.
“The Senate Agriculture Committee is often bipartisan, but this session has been uniquely focused on solving problems instead of partisan bickering,” said Sen. Putnam. “Today we proved that character when we passed this bill without a single ‘no’ vote. As the Agriculture Chair, I have traveled across the state, hosted listening sessions, and heard the voice of the farmer. The provisions in this bill came from those conversations. This bill will help farmers and will speed the development of rural Minnesota. We’re investing $100 million to bring broadband to the least served, supporting programs with a proven record, and creating new opportunities to support new farmers and agricultural industries.”
Some highlights of the omnibus budget bill, SF 1955, include:
- $100 million in fiscal year 2024 and 2025 to expand broadband access throughout the state.
- $14 million in fiscal year 2024 for a grain indemnity fund to protect Minnesota farmers.
- $2 million in soil health equipment grants to help farmers make their farmland more resilient to extreme weather events, retain topsoil, build organic matter, and promote water quality.
- $1 million in fiscal year 2024-2025 to support emerging farmers with farm down payment assistance.
- $944,000 in investments to support livestock processing.
- $800,000 in fiscal year 2024-2025 and $400,000 in fiscal year 2026-2027 to provide services for beginning and emerging farmers.
The omnibus bill passed through the committee with eight “yes” votes and one abstention. The bill now moves to the Senate Finance Committee.