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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Athena Hollins (DFL)

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RELEASE: Rep. Hollins statement on legislation to address Copper Wire Theft

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Rep. Hollins statement on legislation to address Copper Wire Theft   

SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Representative Athena Hollins (DFL-Saint Paul) is the chief author of HF 4461, a bill to require licensure to sell copper metal in Minnesota. For the past four years, Saint Paul residents and the city have been battling a wave of streetlamp thefts. Thieves target the green lamps, prying open the lower access panels to steal the wiring. This vandalism plunges streets and parks into darkness. Thieves have been stripping copper wire out of streetlamps and, more recently, other wired gear such as telephone systems, traffic lights, and HVAC systems.   

Representative Hollins released the following statement:  

"The theft and sale of stolen copper wire is a priority concern for the city of Saint Paul, and many other communities across the State. Copper wire theft has left the city of Saint Paul with more than 2000 streetlights currently out, leaving pedestrians and drivers alike, unsafe.  

“In 2023, the cost to replace stolen copper wire in the city of Saint Paul was over $1.2M to continually replace these wires. On Wednesday we had an extremely productive meeting with Gov. Walz and Mayor Carter, and I feel confident that we will be moving language forward to address this critical issue." 

Attached is the city of Saint Paul’s one-pager describing the bill.