FMR’s Molly Pederson testifies for Environmental Trust Fund fix

by Trevor Russell
FMR lobbyist Molly Pederson testifies on behalf of HF 233 in the Minnesota House Environmental Finance Division on January 24, 2019.  

 

Thursday, January 24, 2019, the Minnesota House Environment and Natural Resources Finance Division heard public testimony of a proposed fix to last year’s controversial raid on the Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund. FMR lobbyist Molly Pederson joined a number of testifiers speaking in favor of the bill (HF 233) authored by Rep. Rick Hansen (D – South St. Paul).

HF 233 repeals 2018 language directing the state to use the voter-approved Environmental Trust Fund for infrastructure investments. The bill would instead fund those investments through traditional (and lower-interest) state bonds.

The bill passed the committee on an 11-7 party-line vote and now moves to the House Ways and Means Committee.

HF 233 is an important step towards correcting last year's unconstitutional raid on this dedicated environmental trust fund. FMR, along with seven other conservation groups, felt we had no choice but to file a lawsuit to stop the raid in hopes that the legislature would honor the intent of Minnesota's voters and fund the proposed projects with traditional state bonds.

With the passage of HF 233 from the Environment Finance Division, we're one step closer to our goal.

Additional versions of this bill have been introduced in the House Capital Investment Committee, and similar language is also expected in the Senate.

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