2017 Legislative Session Report

Elections have consequences. Unfortunately, a consequence of the 2016 election for Minnesota’s Legislature was a dire political environment for work to protect our state’s clean water, clean air and the health of our communities. Heavily influenced by corporate interests and an ideological agenda, the legislative majority introduced numerous bills aimed at rolling back bedrock environmental protections, clean energy incentives, funding for public transit and more.

These misguided attacks had Sierra Club staff, volunteers and citizen advocates working overtime this session to hold the line in defense of Minnesota’s natural environment. Together, working with numerous allies, we were able to fight off some of most egregious provisions, but of course, could not stop them all. See below for a list of the major environment, energy, and transit proposals from this session and what the final outcomes were.

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Legislative Leaders Double Down on Cuts to Environment

On Friday, Republican leadership in the Minnesota Legislature announced an agreement on budget targets between the GOP-controlled House and GOP-controlled Senate. Unfortunately, the budget proposed by the GOP would set Minnesota dangerously backwards on protecting our air, water and natural legacy.

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Youth Leading the Way at Water Action Day and Kids Climate March

On Wednesday April 19th, Minnesotans gathered for Water Action Lobby Day at the state capitol. Citizens from all over the state congregated in the basement of the Christ Lutheran Church as early as 8 a.m. to learn when they would be meeting with their elected officials and gather more information about the day’s events. Over 800 people had registered for the event.

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Gov. Dayton Needs to Veto Deeply Flawed Energy Bill that Fast Tracks Enbridge Line 3

More than 150 people gathered in front of the Minnesota House of Representative’s chambers Thursday for an emergency rally opposing a deeply flawed jobs and energy bill. In addition to a number of other terrible things*, this bill weakens public review of proposed crude oil pipelines in Minnesota in general, and it specifically fast tracks the Enbridge Line 3 tars sands oil pipeline proposal.

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Pulling Back the Curtain: American Progressive Bag Alliance

There’s an old saying in politics: “follow the money”. Here at the North Star Chapter, we try to do exactly that. So, between now and the end of the 2017 session of the Minnesota Legislature, we’ll be profiling a different interest group that is behind one or more bad attacks on our air and water every week here at the North Star Chapter Blog.

First Up: The American Progressive Bag Alliance

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What Does New Leadership Mean for Minnesota Transit?

Minnesota State Senator Scott Newman (R- Hutchinson) has recently taken up his position as the chair of the Transportation Committee. Newman has stated that his focus will be to expand funding in Greater Minnesota for construction roads and bridges, while limiting the budget of public transit in the Twin Cities area, as well as the rest of the state. As have many state Republicans over the years, Newman asserts that rural areas of Minnesota have not received their fair share of transportation funding. But what does the data show?

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