The Rural Lobbyist: ADRDL Funding Debate Continues in Appropriations with SB 172.It seems that every week there are new updates on the proposed Animal Research and Diagnostic Lab. Last week I talked about Senate Bill 162, a proposal that would have funded the lab by drawing 60% of funds from the Revolving Economic Development Initiative (REDI). The other 40% would be offsetting funds with a number equal to 10% of the farm machinery excise tax (which is roughly equal to the .5% increase last year). For more information on check out last week's post here. This week the discussion continued with Senate Bill 172, a proposal submitted on behalf of the office of the Governor. This bill includes roughly $12 million upfront from state general funds and the Board of Regents, but relies upon a host of fee increases to cover the remaining $46 million in project costs. SDFU has taken a firm stance against raising fees on the ag industry while many producers are dealing with tough times. Fortunately this stance is shared by a number of groups representing the agricultural industry and has drawn the attention of many legislators in Pierre. It is important to note that the Governor's office, as well as leadership in the House and Senate, have been working with the industry in order to find an agreeable solution to funding the ADRDL. While that solution is still unknown, it appears that we have come to an agreement that SB 172 in its current form is not that solution. So the fight continues and we will continue to discuss the merits of a multitude of funding sources while the crossover deadline looms ahead. However, since the bill goes through the Appropriations committee, we have an extra week to find a compromise. In the meantime, both SB 172 and SB 162 await further action. For further updates keep with us on Facebook and Twitter, and check your weekly editions of The Rural Lobbyist!