Minnesota Senate Republicans have announced that Senator Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake) will again serve as the chair of the Senate’s Agriculture Finance Committee when the new legislative session begins in January, a post he has held since 2017. In a change from previous years, the Agriculture Policy committee has merged with the Finance Committee, so Sen. Westrom’s committee will take on policy-related decisions as well.
“I grew up on a farm. I have lived in Greater Minnesota my entire life,” said Sen. Westrom. “I know how important agriculture is — not just to the numerous small towns that make up most of Minnesota’s 87 counties, but to our state as a whole. Whether it’s crops, livestock, food processing, or other types of value-added agriculture, it is important that we keep our taxes low and find ways to streamline any regulations that hinder our farmers and agricultural manufacturers. Strong agriculture means a strong Minnesota.”
The priority for the session will be balancing the budget in light of an economy recovering from covid.
In light of Covid-19, the Senate has set up more committees — 29 in total now — but they will have fewer members to accommodate for social distancing. The added new committee areas are focused on: data practices and civil law, property taxes, mining and forestry, labor and industry, health and human services licensing, metropolitan governance, and redistricting.