Special Session Action Alert: Support clean water bonding
While we're focused on our clean water priorities this special session, we're also in solidarity with individuals and organizations fighting Line 3, a massive threat to water, the Mississippi River and Indigenous treaty rights and ways of life in our state. Please take a moment to visit Honor the Earth to learn more or find out how you can act on Line 3.
The Minnesota Legislature is coming back for a special session! We're asking River Guardians to weigh in on three priority environmental bills to make sure lawmakers get this right. (To see our other action alerts, check out the water blog.)
Up next: the bonding bill.
Interestingly, the recently-announced "global agreement" between lawmakers and Gov. Tim Walz includes a conditional commitment to $100 million in housing infrastructure bonds, suggesting a bonding bill is on the table for the special session.
This is a great opportunity to secure funding for two additional FMR legislative priorities this year: #FixthePipes and CREP.
Please call on your lawmakers to invest in these important water infrastructure projects this session (while interest rates are low) to improve our economy, protect public health and enhance our environment for generations to come.
1. SUPPORT: #FixthePipes. Much of Minnesota's water infrastructure (wastewater treatment plants, drinking water treatment systems, water pipes) was built 50-60 years ago and is in dire need of replacement. These costs are too large for individual communities to bear alone. That's why state bonding is so important.
Bonding for water infrastructure will do more than protect clean water and public health in every corner of the state. It will help our economy. Data compiled by the non-partisan Fix the Pipes Alliance shows these water infrastructure investments will create jobs, boost our economy and help keep the cost of drinking water affordable for the 80% of Minnesota households that utilize city water systems.
That's why we are urging lawmakers to provide additional bonding support for water infrastructure this special session.
2. SUPPORT: Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Lawmakers in both parties have historically supported funding for the Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) program for CREP.
RIM/CREP is a highly effective program that pays agricultural landowners to permanently retire marginal farmland and convert it to conservation purposes.
Funding for RIM/CREP has traditionally been provided through a state bonding bill, but this year some lawmakers are considering moving it to the Clean Water Fund (a dubiously constitutional move) due to uncertainty over whether a bonding bill will pass.
That's why we're urging lawmakers to support a bonding bill that provides at least $15.5 million for CREP during this special session.