Sen. Rasmusson authors dairy bill to repeal price-setting law
The Minnesota Milk Producers Association and consumer advocate groups all testified in support of Rasmusson’s bill.
ST. PAUL — On Monday, March 13, the Senate Agriculture, Broadband, and Rural Development Committee heard a bipartisan bill authored by Sen. Jordan Rasmusson (R-Fergus Falls) to repeal Minnesota's price-setting law for dairy products.
Under current Minnesota law, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture can act against retailers and processors for selling milk below a set price. The Minnesota Milk Producers Association and consumer advocate groups all testified in support of Rasmusson’s bill.
“Whether it is milk, yogurt or cottage cheese, it is against the law to sell dairy products too cheaply in Minnesota,” Rasmusson said in a press release. “That is why I authored legislation to repeal our state’s price-setting law on these products. If we abolish this law, we will help Minnesotans feeling the impacts of inflation afford nutritious dairy products for their families.”
The Federal Trade Commission and economists have said that minimum price laws like Minnesota's hurt consumers. This is because these laws set an artificial price floor for dairy products, leading to consumers paying more than they otherwise would for dairy products. By setting an artificial floor on retail dairy prices, the demand for dairy products is suppressed, which hurts the amount of dairy sold and negatively impacts income for Minnesota dairy farmers.
“This bill will help promote our state’s dairy farmers and has their support. We know that Minnesota’s price-setting law hurts our dairy farmers because they get an exemption for June, which is dairy month. This law is only in effect 11 months out of the year because otherwise, dairy promotions would be illegal during dairy month. If we repeal this law, every month can be dairy month in Minnesota,” Rasmusson said.
After the Senate Agriculture, Broadband, and Rural Development Committee hearing, Rasmusson’s legislation was laid over for possible inclusion in a larger bill package.