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Legislative Updates

Winona La Duke surrounded by Minnesotans who want to protect our water in the capitol rotunda

Water Action Day speaker Winona LaDuke reminded legislators of the importance of protecting our drinking water, lakes, creeks or rivers and not rolling back protections at the 2018 rally. (Join us for Water Action Day 2019!)

Last year’s session saw both houses of the legislature pass one of the most far-reaching environmental bills in recent memory, rolling back environmental policy and funding nearly across the board. Fortunately, Gov. Mark Dayton swiftly vetoed the original Environment Bill.

Unfortunately, many of the rollbacks to basic environmental protections in last year’s original vetoed bill are likely to reappear in legislation this session.

Our Capitol rotunda, full of hundreds of Minnesotans calling on legislators to support clean water.

Minnesotans from across the state gathered in the Capitol rotunda to support clean water during the 2017 Water Action Day.

Budget uncertainty, election-year politics and a sometimes-heated debate on environment and conservation issues should make for a fascinating legislative season. Here are our priorities for the 2018 session, which kicked off Tuesday, February 20.

Evaluating the final Clean Water Fund bill

HF 707 betrays the expectations of Minnesota voters by raiding $22 million in Clean Water Fund money for administrative costs for local governments, while failing to heed the recmmendations of Minnesota's Clean Water Council.

June 28

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.

June 5

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.

June 2

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.

June 1

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. 

May 12

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