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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Duane Quam (R)

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News from Rep. Quam (3-13-15)

Friday, March 13, 2015
Hello from the State Capitol,
As this week comes to a close, I would like to take the opportunity to update you on some of my bills that received committee hearings this past week.
On Tuesday, House File 1212 received a hearing in the Agriculture Policy Committee. It exempts retired persons, 65 and older, from having to pay property taxes if they own a modest home.
This bill also ties the assessed value of agricultural property to what it can produce in income. This would help to ensure that the state does not tax farmers out of the agricultural business by allowing property tax rates to increase to unsustainable levels.
HF 1212 is not the “solution” to solving the problem of keeping more family owned farmers in their homes, instead it is a starting point in the discussion and process of fixing our state’s complex property tax system.

The Agriculture Policy Committee also heard House File 287. HF 287 modifies the qualification process for agricultural homestead.

Simply put, individuals who have farmed their land for 10 or more years would no longer have to annually fill out forms to prove they are farmers.

On Wednesday, the Education Innovation Policy Committee heard House File 475. This bill makes it easier for local school districts to arrange with local agriculture businesses to have community experts assist with FFA and instruction of agricultural education courses.

Many school districts, especially those in rural Minnesota, are unable to find a licensed teacher willing to take a very part time position. Agriculture is an important part of Minnesota, and we need to keep it in our schools.

Thank you to the constituents and groups that took the time to visit me in St. Paul this week. It was great to meet with all of you, learn about you, and discuss your thoughts on issues.

  • Farhio Khalif, East African Women's Shelter
  • Tenzin Dolkar, Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans
  • Pam Paulsen, Perpich Center for the Arts
  • Jessica Anderson, Children's Defense Fund
  • Steve Courts
  • YMCA Rochester
  • A dozen Dodge County Teachers

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you ever have questions, concerns, or comments on any number of issues related to the legislature. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-9236 or via email at