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AgriGrowth: 'Common Sense Reforms' in State Finance Bill
Minnesota Ag Connection - 05/16/2017

Perry Aasness, executive director of the Minnesota AgriGrowth Council, praised the Minnesota Legislature for passing a common sense Environment and Natural Resources Finance bill that helps to bring some measure of common sense reforms to Minnesota's regulatory process.

"This bill helps address two critical reforms Minnesota farmers and agribusinesses across the state have been asking for; reforms to our regulatory and permitting process and a necessary extension to the current buffer law," said Aasness. "We thank Chairs Dan Fabian and Bill Ingebrigtsen for their willingness to listen to the voices of agriculture and agribusiness from around the state, and pass a bill that addresses several areas of concern."

Many Minnesota agribusinesses have become increasingly frustrated with the often burdensome and complicated regulatory processes they experience in Minnesota, unlike in other neighboring states in which they do business.

"Too often, Minnesota agencies and regulators have moved the goalposts by requiring permittees to go over and about state rules and statutes as a condition of receiving a permit. This is a disturbing trend, and has added additional costs and hindered new investment in this state. Agribusinesses and farmers today are adapting new practices and technology that are increasingly more efficient and enhance the protection of our state's natural resources," said Aasness. "This bill should help bring clarity, transparency and help our regulatory process move more at the speed of business, which will help our state attract more new jobs."

Leaders from across Minnesota agriculture applauded the much-needed modifications and extension to comply with of the state's buffer law in the bill.

"Minnesota farmers are doing their best to comply with the new buffer law, many of them are already participating, but they do expect clarity and consistency, and promises to be kept," Aasness continued. "State recommendations for alternative practices to the buffer law were only recently release just as farmers are beginning another planting season. Everyone involved in this process should agree we need more time to finally get this right."

"Now that the Legislature has completed their work, it is our sincere hope that Governor Dayton will listen to the voices of farmers and agribusiness owners from all across the state and sign this much need bill into law," Aasness concluded.

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