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Delay in State Help for Minnesota's Turkey Farmers

22 April 2015

US - A dispute is expected to slow down a payment of $893,000, which has been approved by the State Senate in Minnesota for the state's turkey sector, hit hard by recent outbreaks of bird flu.

The Minnesota Senate has unanimously approved $893,000 in emergency state funds to respond to the avian flu outbreak, although a political squabble over a non-related provision attached to the legislation by the DFL's Senate majority may slow down distribution of the money, reports Star Tribune.

The House passed the avian flu money last week; $514,000 will go to the state Department of Agriculture and $379,000 to the state Board of Animal Health.

Senator Kevin Dahle, DFL-Northfield, said during the Senate debate: "There is some urgency."

He noted that the number of Minnesota turkey farms affected by the outbreak has been rising; it most recently was tallied at 28 farms in 14 counties. Minnesota is the nation's largest turkey producer.

However, a day earlier in Senate Finance Committee, DFL senators attached a provision that would move up a yearly date on which the Minnesota Management and Budget office reports the size of the state's budget reserve to legislators. Backers said it is meant to give lawmakers more time to prepare for the legislative session and the scope of resources available.

On 20 April, House Speaker Kurt Daudt released a statement saying he did not want unrelated measures attached to the avian flu money.

That makes a House-Senate conference committee on the bill likely, meaning a likely delay of several days in getting the bill to the desk of Governor Mark Dayton for his signature.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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