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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL)

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House Republicans pass bill with limited and disappointing environmental initiatives

Thursday, April 28, 2016


St. Paul, Minn.- Last night, after nearly 7 hours of debate, the House passed its jobs, economic development, housing, environment and agriculture supplemental omnibus bill. The Environment portion of the bill includes minimal funding for the Department of Natural Resources, appropriates none for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and shifts around existing dedicated money to be used instead for GOP special projects.

Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South Saint Paul) did not vote for the final bill and released the following statement:

“The entire House Republican jobs, economic development, housing, environment and agriculture bill is a major disappointment to Minnesota, and the Environment portion is abysmal. House Republicans continue to ignore urgent priorities that directly affect our natural resources. Emerald Ash Borer, for example, continues to plague our communities statewide, but Republicans ignored this when they refused to include it in their bill. Republicans also refused to accept an amendment that would provide requirements of reporting toxic chemicals in children’s products. Controversial water provisions set an unprecedented standard for the first time ever of having the Legislature set lake water levels. Overall, these omissions and special interest provisions are the wrong priorities and the wrong direction for Minnesota’s natural assets.”

The House jobs, economic development, housing, environment and agriculture supplemental omnibus bill now heads to the Senate for comparison.

Three and half short weeks remain in the 2016 legislative session.

Rick Hansen is the DFL-Lead on the Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee.