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Minnesota Farmers Union Priorities Included in Legislative Bills Passed
Minnesota Ag Connection - 05/31/2023

Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) celebrates the inclusion of several of its member-driven priorities in bills passed during the recent 2023 legislative session. Notably, these provisions encompass a public option for farmers to join MinnesotaCare by 2027, an extension and expansion of the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit, and investments aimed at reducing carbon emissions and enhancing climate resilience in the farming community.

The long-awaited MinnesotaCare buy-in option, supported by MFU members, is now included in the health and human services measure that was approved during the session. Through this public option, Minnesotans with lower incomes can get comprehensive health care coverage, including farmers and others. The measure instructs the commissioner of commerce to submit a request for a federal waiver in order to establish the public option by January 1, 2027.

The law also improves regulation of significant hospital mergers and creates a Prescription Drug Affordability Board, giving priority to the need for more healthcare providers, particularly in rural areas.

The tax package includes financing for Soil and Water Conservation Districts as well as the extension and expansion of the Beginning Farmers Tax Credit. It also raises the first-tier ag homestead limit. These actions are intended to assist prospective farmers and ease the transfer of farms to the following generation.

A green fertiliser production incentive pilot programme, technical support for the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, and resilience planning at the University of Minnesota are all funded under the environment, natural resources, climate, and energy bill. A key step in lowering the carbon footprint of maize cultivation is the promotion of locally made green fertilisers.

The omnibus agriculture law, which Governor Tim Walz signed, includes clauses that promote small and mid-sized meat processors, help beginning and rising farmers, and establish a grain indemnity fund.

MFU is committed to furthering the interests of Minnesota's farming community, which is reflected in its legislative goals. To learn more, go to the MFU website www.mfu.org

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