Welcome Stu Lourey!
Today MFU officially welcomed Stu Lourey as our new Government Relations Director. Stu grew up on a beef farm in Kerrick, Pine County, and previously worked with Senator Tina Smith’s staff, with a focus on health care.
An MFU member himself for several years, Stu is enthusiastic about working for our organization and speaking up for MFU policy at the Capitol. We’re glad to have him on board!
To contact Stu, call him at (651) 288-4067 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legislative update: Bills introduced on Farm to School, Forever Green
Despite the NFU Convention, our work at the State Capitol pressed forward. This Friday, March 15, is the deadline for bills to be heard in committee.
We were pleased to see a bill introduced in the House Health & Human Services Policy Committee to establish the ONEcare program, which was part of Gov. Tim Walz’s budget proposal and is effectively a MinnesotaCare Buy-in option. We testified in support of the bill. Legislators were moved by stories we shared about people who have to pay $45,000 a year for health care. The bill will be heard by the House Commerce Committee this Wednesday. Rep. Tina Liebling, DFL-Rochester, is the chief author.
Some great news was that the funding package to support rural mental health efforts, including funds for more Farm Advocates, passed the House unanimously. MFU thanks Rep. Jeanne Poppe, DFL-Austin, for authoring this bill. The Senate companion has been laid over for inclusion in a larger committee bill later.
Lastly, the House Commerce Committee heard HF1138, the Digital Fair Repair Act, on Friday morning. This would address our Right to Repair priority, as it would require equipment manufacturers to make information and instructions for repairing the equipment readily available. Jackson County Farmers Union member John Nauerth sent a letter in support of Right to Repair, describing his own experiences with the matter. The Senate companion is SF1077. MFU thanks Rep. Peter Fischer, DFL-Maplewood, and Sen. Dave Osmek, R-Mound, for authoring this bill.
More information about our legislative work this session is available at www.mfu.org/legislative-updates/. Our full legislative agenda is available here.
NFU joins coalition in highlighting importance of carbon capture
National Farmers Union (NFU) joined the Carbon Capture Coalition in submitting a letter to leaders in Congress to highlight the importance of “carbon capture research, development, and commercial deployment as an essential component of a broader strategy to decarbonize power generation and key industry sectors by midcentury” to meet climate goals.
The letter, signed by a cross-section of the Coalition’s 60 Participants and Observers, is intended to reinforce the role of carbon capture technologies in any federal policy discussions about climate, energy, infrastructure or job creation. The group expressed support for legislation including the USE IT Act that would build on the FUTURE Act to advance the use of carbon capture technologies nationwide.
“Carbon capture presents family farmers and rural communities tremendous opportunity to both better the environment and enhance quality of life in rural America,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “These technologies create jobs, produce domestic energy, benefit the U.S. ethanol industry, and reduce carbon emissions that exacerbate climate change. So as Congress looks to reduce our nation’s carbon emissions, we proudly join the Carbon Capture Coalition in urging congressional leadership to advance federal policies that accelerate deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage.”