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Legislative Update – June 11, 2024

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Legislative Update – June 11, 2024

Dear neighbors,

It was a busy weekend of environment, climate, and agriculture work this past weekend, as I hosted a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Mississippi River Basin Legislative Cohort and the NCSL Agriculture Task Force in Saint Paul.

Our bipartisan group of legislators from around the region and country met to discuss issues relating to water and soil quality, agriculture, trees and biodiversity, and more. We toured the St. Paul District Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam with the Army Corps of Engineers, visited Bailey’s Nurseries in Newport, and even had time to visit the Dakota County Bison reintegration site!


Tree Planting in South St. Paul

Then on Saturday, Illinois State Rep. Sonya Harper joined me as I spoke at and helped plant trees in South St. Paul in partnership with the city, DNR, the nonprofit group Tree Trust, and fantastic members of the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa.

Volunteers and speakers met on the east side of Harmon Part, and Tree Trust had materials volunteers could use to help plant a variety of trees to promote a more diverse and resilient tree canopy in South St. Paul. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped plant 90 trees over the weekend as part of these events!


In the News

I also spent some time speaking to reporters at MinnPost about environmental and agricultural issues last week. I reiterated my support for a nitrogen fertilizer fee that would ensure that the polluters pay for the damage they cause to our soil and water. Though that bill didn’t pass this session, I will continue to advocate for a fairer model to deal with this issue.

As long as the general public pays for the cleanup, we’re never going to have changes in the practices and behavior of fertilizer over-application that are needed to reduce pollution and keep our drinking water safe.

I also spoke to MinnPost about the importance of avoiding “regulatory capture” in our agencies, where corporate and industry stakeholders hold influence on regulatory bodies through advisory committees and task forces. That’s been the Minnesota model over many years, the solution is to remember we work for the public, not the stakeholders.


Lawns to Legumes Funding

Do you want your lawn to be more pollinator-friendly? Minnesota residents can now apply for spring 2025 Lawns to Legumes funding. The Lawns to Legumes program aims to increase habitat for at-risk pollinators in residential settings across the state by providing people with cost-share funding, workshops, coaching, and gardening resources.

Anyone can apply to be reimbursed for up to $400 in costs associated with establishing new pollinator habitats in their yards. Applications will be accepted through November 30, 2024. If you previously applied for the program, you must reapply to be considered for spring 2025 funding. 

Apply online at Blue Thumb’s website. For more information about Lawns to Legumes, visit BWSR’s website.

Lawns to Legumes

Stay in Touch!

Please continue to share your questions, ideas, and feedback throughout the year. You can reach me by email at or by phone at 651-296-6828. You can contact my Legislative Assistant Sam O'Neill at 651-296-3305 or via email at


Rick Hansen
State Representative