As the legislature works to assemble a final state budget agreement, Senator Bill Weber (R-Luverne) will serve on the conference committees for the agriculture and education budget bills. The conference committees, which consist of five members of each body, are responsible for working out a compromise on bills passed by the House and Senate.
“I am looking forward to working with my colleagues in these two extremely important budget areas,” said Senator Weber, chair of the Senate Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing Policy Committee. “The education budget passed by the Senate last week includes the largest investment in public education in state history and the agriculture budget makes a strong, long-term investment in our state’s most important economic driver. Over the next two weeks, we will work to arrive at an agreement on the two bills that meets the needs of Minnesotans while recognizing our state’s current budget realities.”
Last week, the Minnesota Senate passed an agriculture budget that invests $258 million in state agencies, rural development, and housing. The bill includes assistance for dairy producers, increased funding for broadband expansion, and funding for affordable manufactured housing and homeownership programs.
The Senate also passed an education budget, which spends an additional $940 million compared to the previous budget cycle – the largest school spending law in history. The bill adds $93 million to the per-pupil formula, which makes up half of education funding and gives local flexibility to school districts. The bill also focuses on safe schools, career and technical education, early childhood education, and literacy.
Conference committees will continue until an agreement is reached. Both legislative bodies must vote to approve any conference committee agreement before sending it to the governor for a signature or veto. The legislature is constitutionally-mandated to adjourn by May 20.
Senator Bill Weber, of Luverne, represents communities in Cottonwood, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, and Rock counties in the Minnesota Senate. Senator Weber serves as chair of the Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing Policy Committee.