2020 Legislative Priorities Overview

Investing in Minnesota with a Robust Bonding Bill: Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, and Great Outdoors can receive a significant funding boost this year. Conservation Minnesota supports a strong state capital investment bill or “bonding bill” which includes investments in Minnesota’s open spaces, state parks, and both green and grey clean water infrastructure. The Governor’s bonding proposal, if passed, will make important investments in the acquisition of lands, while also helping Minnesota communities plan for climate change and protecting their local lakes, rivers, and streams.

Renewing the Lottery Dedication and Protecting the Environmental Trust Fund: The dedication of state lottery proceeds to the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund will expire in 2024. This fund provides significant funding for our lakes, rivers, and water quality protection. In recent years, the proceeds generated by the Trust Fund have been the target of repeated funding raids. Conservation Minnesota is advocating for both the permanent protection of these environmental funds from raids and the rededication of lottery funds toward the environment.

Phasing Out Trichloroethylene (TCE): The industrial solvent TCE is a known human carcinogen used by industries and manufacturers in Minnesota. TCE represents a significant threat to communities when it is released into the water, soil, or air. When improperly disposed or when it leaks from industrial sites it can enter the soil and groundwater. Once in the groundwater, it is a difficult contaminant to remove. Conservation Minnesota is working to find bipartisan solutions to ensure a strong bill to phase out TCE is passed this year.

Getting Lead Out: Lead ammunition and lead fishing tackle can impact the health of Minnesota wildlife and Minnesota citizens. A number of bills are expected including educating Minnesotans on the harm lead in ammunition and fishing tackle causes, buying back lead ammunition and lead fishing tackle, and investing in research to better understand the impacts lead has on humans and wildlife. Conservation Minnesota has long supported phasing out lead in ammunition and tackle and we’ll continue to support any bill which addresses this important issue.

Funding for AIS Prevention: Conservation Minnesota will continue to advocate for dependable funding for research at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center. We will also advocate to maintain local funding so that communities can sustain strong AIS outreach and education programs to help protect the long-term health of Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, and water resources.

Other Issues: Conservation Minnesota is always looking to support additional legislation that will protect and promote our state’s lakes and rivers. This includes legislation regarding aquatic invasive species, groundwater resources, and other water-related issues. Additionally, we’re looking out for legislation that tries to repeal important water quality protections, or that might jeopardize the future of our beautiful lakes, rivers, and streams. With your help, Conservation Minnesota is working to protect the Minnesota you love.