Senate Agriculture Chair Aric Putnam’s Bill to Bolster State’s Farm Economy, Includes $100 Million to Expand reliable Broadband Service Across Minnesota
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) said today the Senate has overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan agriculture budget bill that invests in Minnesota farmers, dairy producers, and food processors and will help create jobs and economic vitality in communities across the state.
Majority Leader Dziedzic said the measure, authored by Agriculture Committee Chair Aric Putnam (DFL-St. Cloud), also includes $100 million for expansion of reliable broadband services for Minnesotans who currently are not connected. The measure also includes $10 million to create a grain indemnity fund to help producers hurt when grain elevators go out of business, and $4 million to help protect small and mid-size dairy producers from the risk of inflation and high commodity prices.
“Agriculture has always been important to Minnesota’s economy and to our state’s way of life. We know that Minnesota producers and processors not only provide our state with food security and job creation, but they also help feed our nation and the world,” said Majority Leader Dziedzic. “This bill bolsters Minnesota’s farm and agriculture economy and makes significant investment in bringing broadband to families, businesses, and communities that currently don’t have access to reliable service.”
“I am proud of the work we put in to reach this budget agreement,” said Senator Aric Putnam.“We listened to the voices of Minnesota farmers. This bill was written in town halls and listening sessions, not in a committee room in St. Paul. We worked on what was best for Minnesotans not what was convenient for a political party. We are investing $48 million for the needs of our farmers and $100 million for broadband development to connect Minnesotans in every corner of the state. Agriculture has been vital to Minnesota’s economy, and this historic investment will bring stability to farmers and help people across the state.”
The measure – which passed 49 to 16 – will now go to the Governor to be signed into law.