ST. PAUL, MN -- Representative Mary Franson (R-Alexandria) is adding her voice to the growing bipartisan coalition of legislators, agriculture, and other stakeholders urging Governor Dayton to compromise on changes to the state buffer law set to go into effect later this year. To date, Governor Dayton has flatly refused to even discuss changes, despite a broad coalition of farmers, agriculture groups, legislators, and others who are urging changes to make it more fair and workable for landowners and local units of government.
“Farmers, landowners, local governments, and other stakeholders have spoken about the need to reform the 2015 buffer law; it is time that the Governor begins to listen to their concerns,” said Franson. “A compromise needs to be reached that still protects and preserves Minnesota’s water quality, while also not burdening our local agricultural industry.”
On Thursday, a long list of county commissioners and agriculture groups including the Minnesota Farmers Union, the Minnesota Farm Bureau, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, and many others sent a letter to Governor Dayton and legislative leaders urging them to find a workable compromise citing the challenges facing farmers to meet existing implementation dates. If a compromise cannot be found on changes to the law, the groups requested at the very least that Governor Dayton delay implementation to give landowners and local governments more time to comply with buffer mandates. The letter can be found by clicking here.
The Environment and Natural Resources Conference Committee report sent to the governor on Monday includes changes to the buffer law including: