ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Rep. Paul Anderson says ag bill needs more work to gain bipartisan support

“One area where this bill fell short is it does not have more funding for E15 fuel infrastructure,” Anderson said.

AndersonPaul_rep.jpg
Rep. Paul Anderson
We are part of The Trust Project.

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota House late Monday, April 25, approved an omnibus finance package with agriculture, broadband and housing components that Rep. Paul Anderson, R-Starbuck, said spends a great deal of additional money but failed to garner bipartisan support.

Anderson is the House Republican lead on agriculture. He said the agriculture portion of the bill (House File 4366) included an 81% increase in related spending for 2023, without tangible benefits for mainstream farmers or consumers.

Anderson also said the bill takes away an important management tool for farmers that helps them manage their fertilizer applications.

“One area where this bill fell short is it does not have more funding for E15 fuel infrastructure,” Anderson said. “We had high hopes to further fund that project, but the majority left that funding out of the bill. President Biden recently announced retailers will be able to sell E15 year-round again this year. This bill should have done more to expand availability of this lower-cost variety of fuel at a time gas prices are at historic highs, so this bill is something of a missed opportunity.”

The bill also features legislation related to housing. Anderson said those measures are more geared toward programs and regulations instead of providing changes that address rising construction costs.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Our state has a whole host of questionable regulations that continue driving up the cost of construction, putting home ownership out of reach for many,” Anderson said. “It seems like this is just more spending without getting to the real root of this issue.”

The bill also provides $25 million for the state’s Border-to-Border broadband program. Earlier versions of the bill provided $100 million for this purpose, but Anderson said House Democrats reduced the figure by 75% in the late stages of the committee process.

The bill was approved 70-62 along party lines in the House. It now heads to the Senate and then likely will become the subject of a conference committee in preparation for final passage ahead of the Legislature’s late May adjournment.

“While I could not support this current bill on the House floor, I remain hopeful the upcoming conference committee will make positive changes to the finished product so that it comes back worthy of broad, bipartisan support,” Anderson said. “Bills related to agriculture typically are among the least controversial at the Capitol and, in the end, I hope that’s the case again this year.”

What to read next
Ukraine's grain exports have slumped since the start of the Russian invasion as its Black Sea ports — the key route for shipments — have been largely closed off.
The North Dakota Attorney General’s office says billionaire Bill Gates’ Red River Trust purchase of Campbell Farms land was legal because of lease-back. But the trust’s lawyer said the Campbells filed the trust’s name with the Secretary of State without the trust’s knowledge.
The Roslyn Elevator and US Bank presented an agreement to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission to keep the business going. The PUC voted June 29, 2022, to renew the elevator's license.
The university recently announced the release of the MN-Rothsay variety, named for the town in western Minnesota that is part of the state's wheat-growing region.