Don Davis / Forum News Service
MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota native, now a key federal agriculture official, stands firmly behind the North American Free Trade Agreement. Steve Censky says NAFTA is vital for farmers, even as President Donald Trump reportedly is thinking about scrapping the deal. "We know that NAFTA has been a bonanza for U.S. agriculture producers," Censky said during a Thursday, Nov. 9, Minneapolis visit. "The importance of NAFTA cannot be overstated," he told Forum News Service in an interview.
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota's 2018 governor candidates offer a variety of solutions to rural problems. In the largest governor candidate forum so far in the campaign, eight candidates appeared Thursday, Nov. 9, at the annual meeting of AgriGrowth, an organization that works for farmers and agri-businesses. State Rep. Matt Dean, a Republican, said that too many greater Minnesota residents feel like they live in "lesser Minnesota."
ST. PAUL — Gov. Mark Dayton's action to ease problems that farmers report of getting propane brings back memories of the 2013-14 winter in which the gas was in short supply, but early indications are that this winter will not be as bad.
MORGAN, Minn. - A major focus at Farmfest, the all-things-agriculture show in southwest Minnesota, was the need for farmers to sell themselves. That is not natural. Most farmers do not like to self-promote. "We need to get our message out," state Sen. Gary Dahms, R-Redwood Falls, told a Farmfest forum audience Tuesday.
ST. PAUL — Abortion. Transportation. Exploding trains and pipelines. Thursday brought a potpourri of hot-button issues to Minnesota legislative debate. Lawmakers often avoided dry money talk in spending hours debating tweaks to the current two-year, $42 billion budget. Instead, they fell back on tried and true controversies and attention-grabbing issues as they prepare for the final three weeks of the 2016 legislative session. Budget bills the House and Senate debated Thursday will make their way into end-of-sessions negotiations.
ST. PAUL -- Republicans want to finish a southwest Minnesota water project, kill the state film board, fund a tractor safety program, get rid of two business economic development programs and help Mille Lacs Lake-area businesses suffering from walleye fishing restrictions. All of that is part of what the GOP says would come without raising overall state spending.
ST. PAUL -- Cleaning up Minnesota's water takes more than new laws, Gov. Mark Dayton said Monday while proclaiming this as Water Action Week. Ultimately, he said, it will take a new ethic to make needed changes to prevent pollution. "I am hoping that this ethic will become such that anyone (not showing that ethic) will stand out as an exemption and not the norm," Dayton said. On the other hand, the governor added: "James Madison said, 'If men were angels, government would not be necessary.'"
Anti-pipeline protesters interrupted Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Feb. 27 as he spoke to more than 800 Minnesotans at a summit about how to clean the state's water. A half dozen people representing environmental and American Indian groups carrying signs saying "Love water, not oil" went up on stage, while others stood in front of Dayton holding a similar banner. They criticized him for supporting oil pipelines across northern Minnesota. "Why are no tribal groups represented" at the water summit, a man carrying a megaphone asked Dayton.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota landowners are to have access to maps showing where they need to install buffer strips by July 1, but questions, distrust and clarifications remain. The Minnesota Legislative Water Commission on Thursday heard that preliminary maps are to be available online this summer, with landowners able to zoom in on their properties. That information should allow them to know where to install buffers. But, like water in much of Minnesota, the requirement is not clear.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s railroads are becoming safer, railroad officials and legislative transportation leaders agree. The state’s four largest railroads invested more than $500 million on infrastructure last year, most of which improved safety. By far the biggest investment was from Minnesota’s largest railroad, $326 million by BNSF Railway Co. “These improvements are paying off for all kinds of traffic,” BNSF Vice President Brian Sweeney told Minnesota legislators Monday.