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Energy, agriculture conferees find green agreement

Rep. Patty Acomb and Sen. Nick Frentz confer May 14 before convening the agriculture, commerce, energy, utilities, environment and climate conference committee. (Photo by Michele Jokinen)

Commerce went to cannabis, but energy and agriculture remained united.

Such was the result of a midweek re-ordering of conference committees that took place after a conference committee had already met for the first time to hash out differences in House and Senate energy, commerce and agriculture proposals.

On Friday afternoon, the final take on the energy and agriculture policy and supplemental budget conference committee report was unveiled, with $17 million in fiscal year 2025 energy appropriations designed to get the state closer to its goal of 100% clean energy by 2040, and $4.5 million for such agriculture-related programs as assisting communities in southeastern Minnesota affected by nitrate contamination in their drinking water.

They’re part of HF4975/SF4942*, a bill sponsored by Rep. Patty Acomb (DFL-Minnetonka) and Sen. Nick Frentz (DFL-North Mankato) that features both budget and policy provisions for energy and agriculture. The bill contains sections on appropriations from the General Fund and the Renewable Development Account, and was amended with policy provisions regarding permitting reform and a 10-year extension of the Solar Rewards program that Frentz identified as being a House priority in negotiations.


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