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Update from the Hill: Final Budget Bills Signed

By Ryan Johnson, Associate Program Director — Health and Nutrition

After a chaotic end of the 2017 Minnesota legislative session (and special session), Governor Mark Dayton signed the final budget bills last week. Here is where a few bills related to Family Development’s programming ended up.

Market Bucks

Market Bucks funding was restored at $325,000 per year.

Food Shelf Funding Increase and Mobile Food Shelf Funding

The food shelf funding increase passed at $375,000 per year for two years. This funding is for the purchase of proteins, fruits, vegetables, and diapers.

A one-time appropriation of $2 million to continue the mobile food shelf grant program was not renewed.

Good Food Access Program

The Good Food Access Program was included in the Agriculture Omnibus Bill. The Commissioner of Agriculture can appropriate up to $250,000 per year to the program.

Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)

This bill increases the cash assistance available to Minnesota’s most financially vulnerable families for the first time in more than 30 years. Families accessing MFIP will see their monthly assistance increase by $13.

Urban Agriculture Development Pilot Program

The Agriculture Omnibus Bill provides funding of $250,000 per year for urban youth agricultural education or urban agriculture community development.

Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP)

SHIP funding was fully maintained at $35 million for the 2018-2019 biennium. As part of the budget negotiations, a policy provision was passed that broadens the scope of the program. Moving forward, at least two SHIP grants must be used for opioid abuse prevention initiatives. All other strategies remain unchanged.

Young and Beginning Farmers Tax Credit

Through this bill, landowners receive a state income tax credit when they sell or rent land or agricultural assets to a beginning farmer. The credit equals five percent of the sale price, ten percent of the cash rent, or fifteen percent for a cash share agreement. In turn, the beginning farmer must take a farm management course to qualify for the tax incentive and would be eligible for a tax credit covering the full cost of training. The tax credit is effective in the 2018 tax year and is funded at $12 million dollars for the 2020-2021 biennium.

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