The Minnesota Senate passed its Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing Omnibus Budget Bill last week to support, according to its backers, agriculture, rural development and rural COVID-19 recovery. District 27 Senator Gene Dornink, a Republican from Hayfield and a member of the Agriculture Committee spoke with KAUS and highlighted some key features of the bill..
Bill supporters stated that the legislation is focused on helping Minnesota farmers while spurring innovation in the agriculture industry and provides resources for broadband expansion throughout the state. The legislation, they stated, will help the agricultural community recover from the pandemic by strengthening the ag sector supply chains and will invest in helping more meat processing facilities expand and grow. Those that voted for the bill noted that the legislation will bring funding to the Border-to-Border Broadband Grant program at $40 million over the next two fiscal years, it will also include grants for farm safety equipment, it will also allow for the creation of a grain storage facility safety curriculum, and they added that it will also feature mental health outreach on farms and additional mental health services are also included, which continues funding for the existing 24-hour crisis hotline.