Minnesota Legislature Building at State Capitol

Ag Research Bill Passes First Hurdle in Senate

Senator Dan Sparks presented SF820, the Coalition Ag Research bill before the Senate Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development committee. He was aided in the presentation by MSGA lobbyist Jerry Schoenfeld. The bill was passed and sent to the state and local government committee. If passed, it will go from there to the Finance committee where it will be sent to one of the Finance divisions.

The companion bill in the House also passed its first test in the House Ag Policy committee last week and will be scheduled soon in the Government operations committee.

From the team

This week I have asked A.J. Duerr to share some information about biodiesel.

Port of Duluth Requests Biodiesel Exemption: Senator Roger Reinert (DFL – Duluth) introduced SF158 on behalf of the Port of Duluth, which would grant the Port a blanket exemption from the use of biodiesel.  The bill was brought forward due to the perception that international vessels (salties) were not currently covered by the marine exemptions in the statute.  After a number of discussions between interested parties, there was a lot of confusion as to what ships were and were not included in current law.

 Last week, Senator Reinert met with representatives from the Dept. of Agriculture, Dept. of Commerce, MN Biodiesel Council and Port of Duluth to get clarification on the issue. It was determined at this meeting that the salties were in fact already exempted in statute. The MN Biodiesel Council would like to thank Senator Reinert and the Port of Duluth for agreeing not to pursue SF158 this legislative session.

— A. J. Duerr