The Rural Lobbyist: Ethanol Infrastructure Bill Dies in Committee#1264 and Senate #183 this week. Both bills are identical however they have no funding. Procedurally this is a process that is often used on important bills to keep options open in both houses. The bills give permission to the Board of Regents to build the project. S.D. Farmers Union member, Bill Chase, testified as a producer in favor of the project in the House and did an excellent job. There are nine days left in the session and legislators are working in conjunction with agriculture groups to find dollars for the project. Expect to see this bill go into the final week. Senate bill 210 was an ethanol bill to put $1 million into ethanol infrastructure development in South Dakota. Sen. Jason Frerichs brought the bill to continue a program that has been in place since 2011. Ultimately the committee killed the bill saying that industry should fund this program and that they felt the ethanol industry had matured to the point that it should be self-sustaining. Senators voting against the bill were Ewing, Soholt, Cammack, Klumb, Monroe and Otten. The Department of Agriculture has a $50 million plus budget. For those of you interested in numbers and programs you may review the budget here. Dollars are appropriated with $7.4 million in general funds, $6.9 million in federal funds and $36 million in other funds. The department is made up of 13 different budget areas. If you aren't currently following S.D. Farmers Union on Facebook or Twitter, consider adding us. Insightful Farmers Union Minute videos are published on a weekly basis to Twitter as well as live updates from committee meetings in Pierre. Plenty of useful information can always be found on both our Twitter and Facebook. Stay up to date! Join us in Pierre, Feb. 27 for S.D. Farmers Union Legislative Day. Interact with your legislators, listen in on committee meetings and enjoy lunch in the rotunda!