A handful of rollbacks to Governor Dayton’s landmark 2014 Buffer Rule continue to capture legislative attention at the Minnesota Capitol this session.
Water and Legislative Updates Blog
FMR is proud to be a leading voice to protect the water of our Big River, and all the people and wildlife who depend on it.
Our Water program and Legislative updates strive to keep you up to date on important water-quality issues, from the banks of the Mississippi to the halls of the Legislature. (For political animals, here's a legislative-content-only version.)
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Water quality standards must be based on expert science and public input. We need to reject rulemaking by judges and oppose this legislation.
A bill introduced by Republican Rep. Steve Green (Fosston) would require the state to conduct a new referendum to replace the Legacy Amendment with funds for a narrow list of highway and bridge projects and bar Clean Water Fund spending on most clean-up and restoration projects.
Under H.F. 551, the MPCA and DNR would no longer have any rulemaking authority and all their existing rules would expire by 2022 unless the Minnesota legislature chose to enact them. The bill likely precedes others that will seek to give the legislature veto power over agency rulemaking, a move that will deny the public a voice in regulatory decisions.
Legislators and testifiers opposed to Minnesota's buffer law continue to claim that the law is unconstitutional because it constitutes a government taking of private property without just compensation to the property owner. These claims are incorrect and misleading. The law would only be unconstitutional if it denied property owners every and all reasonable use of their land.
Water issues will once again be a hot topic during this year's legislative session. While Gov. Mark Dayton has made water a priority, House and Senate majority parties have signaled intentions to roll back policies and funding essential to protecting Minnesota’s rivers, lakes and streams.
Without a doubt, defending against these rollbacks and securing much-needed funding for critical water infrastructure will be our top priorities during the 2017 legislative session.
On January 4th, Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith announced their 2017 bonding proposal. Dubbed the “Jobs Bill,” the proposed $1.5 billion package includes much-needed investments in the Minnesota’s water resources, including drinking water and wastewater infrastructure for communities across the state. Here are some of FMR's top bonding or funding priorities.
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Following a hectic end to the 2016 legislative session, the Minnesota Legislature adjourned with some important work left undone. Legislative efforts to pass a transportation bill and a bonding bill failed, while a surprise $100 million wording error in a tax bill earned that piece of legislation a pocket-veto from Governor Dayton.
While the Governor has expressed support for a special session, the likelihood of such a session remains uncertain. FMR and our allies strongly encourage Governor Dayton and state legislators to reconvene to complete their work, which includes much-needed funding to protect Minnesota's water resources.
After Gov. Mark Dayton's pocket veto of the tax bill, a special session appears more likely this month. The governor chose not to sign the bill as it contained a $100 million wording error (an "or" instead of an "and"), letting the clock run out and preventing it from becoming law. A June special session will be needed to correct and re-pass the essential bill, making it likely the Minnesota Legislature will also tackle important transportation and bonding business left undone, including vital funding for state water quality improvements.