Minnesota enjoying a budget surplus projected at well over $1 billion, another state farm assistance measure from the 2000 state legislature is promising, says Bruce Kleven, state legislative strategist for the MAWG and
the Minnesota Barley Growers Association.
Kleven says several ideas for assistance may be discussed, including another property tax rebate, targeted relief, or even a short-term state CRP program.
unicameral legislature idea will be debated, but it might not get far: Kleven speculates whether any measure could pass the Senate. He says outstate Minnesotans will lose from a unicameral measure, as more
legislative power would shift to the Metro area.
The light rail proposal passed last year could be in for a fight this year: The measure needs funding, and outstate lawmakers are unlikely to support the light rail
plan unless funding is earmarked for road improvement outside the metro area.
A bill to kill or modify a list of regulations deemed unnecessary by farm groups in the state will be debated, but with various issues on
the list (environment, transportation, workers comp) the measure will need to make several stops at different committees, which will make passage more tedious in an abbreviated session, says Kleven.
session begins at noon on Feb. 1, and Kleven expects lawmakers to recess sometime in April, then reconvene and adjourn after reviewing Ventura's actions on bills that reach his desk.