Updates and Articles

How water fared in the legislative session + a happy hour invitation

While the 2017 Minnesota legislative session didn’t go as well as we hoped — we failed to make any meaningful progress on water quality — we can say for certain that the final bills were a great improvement over those originally vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton. 

Thank you FMR River Guardians, Water Action Day participants and everyone who joined in our efforts to stand up for clean water this session! 

Learn more from our Legislative Updates blog and join us for happy hour, Tuesday, June 27 to recap the session with the FMR Capitol Crew and discuss what's next.

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Environment bill becomes law: What’s in & what’s out?

The Minnesota Legislature's original environment bill was one of the most sweeping anti-environmental bills to advance at the Capitol in many years. Luckily, it was vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton on May 12. So what made it into the final bill that the governor signed on May 30? Some rollbacks, no water quality progress, but not the worst provisions were removed during final negotiations with the Dayton administration.

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Sigh... Environment bill signed. Legacy funds shifted.

We're pretty sure that when Minnesotans passed the Legacy Amendment, this isn't what they — what we — had in mind. Just signed by Gov. Mark Dayton, the environment bill shifts voter-mandated conservation funds to administrative costs. Thank you to all the River Guardians who tried to prevent this, we look forward to inviting you to happy hour soon to recap the session.

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Where the Legislature stands on water & the environment in its final week

This 2017 Legislature has featured a series of sweeping assaults on our environment, including widespread rollbacks to bedrock environmental finance and policy positions that threaten to undermine water quality and river health throughout the state. Here's where things stand.
 

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Gov. Dayton vetoes awful environmental bill! (But another is on the way.)

Friday, May 12, Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a historically bad omnibus environment bill. It sought to give polluters the right to write their own environmental impact statements, slashed funding for environmental agencies and even prevented cities from banning plastic bags. In short, it threatened to undermine Minnesota’s long tradition of protecting the water we drink and the air we breathe. 

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Why are MN's largest companies leading the charge to roll back our environmental protections?

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce has led many of this legislative session's attacks on our environment. Do the heads of Target, Best Buy, 3M, Medtronic, U.S. Bank, General Mills, Ecolab, Xcel Energy, Hormel and Delta Air Lines know what's being done in their name? 

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Tell Minnesota companies to #KeepMNClean and #ProtectOurWater.
Dennis Anderson (Star Tribune): Separating fact from fiction about Minnesota's buffer law

Dennis Anderson, the longtime outdoors columnist for the Star Tribune: "Misinformation is rife about the state's buffer law, passed two years ago to clean up lakes and rivers, which requires farmers and other landowners to be in compliance with the statute by November."

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Star Tribune op-ed: Major state companies need to disavow Chamber's harmful environmental agenda

A commentary in the May 5 Star Tribune co-authored by longtime FMR Board Member Peter Gove highlights major Minnesota companies that tout their environmental credentials while funding Chamber of Commerce legislation to roll back bedrock environmental protections for Minnesota's lands and waters. ​

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Nature Notes: Unassuming little beetle's clever (gross?) 'shield defense'

Found on sumac, these beetles have an especially interesting way of protecting their young.

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sumac flea beetle
Legislation to undermine agency rulemaking adopted in State Government Finance Conference Report

This week, the State Government Finance Conference Committee released its conference report which includes 30 pages of redundant, regressive, time-consuming, and expensive hurdles that agencies must go through in order to adopt or even propose rules to protect our environment, natural resources, health, and safety. These provisions were written by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, which characterizes them as "streamlining" the agency process. The reality, however, is that this legislation will result in significant delays and administrative expenses.

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