The regular session of the Minnesota Legislature has thankfully ended. Many bad things and few good things happened. It seems to me that the leadership of the House (Republican) and the Senate (DFL) were generally united against the people. How did this come about? A question that needs answering…..and a situation that needs changing.
Some of the worst language was removed or toned down due to lobbying by the Attorney General’s office, Isaac Walton League, Trout Unlimited, Carol Overland, and others.
At this point the only way to (possibly) improve the situation is to convince Governor Dayton to veto bad bills.
Here are the two of the worst bills we have been following. Note that during the session the bad stuff has sometimes moved from one bill number to another, sometimes more than once. This is the endpoint.
H .F . 1437 “Omnibus agriculture policy and finance bill.” (last bill passed by house, called “jobs bill” by gullible reporters, to Governor) (96 pages) This bill contains the energy dereg stuff I’ve posted about elsewhere with *some* of the worst language removed. It also has the special electric rate deals for big business stuff, and much else that is bad. Overall, there is a big potential to enrich Minnesota utilities and corporations at the expense of ordinary Minnesotans. It deserves a veto.
H.F. 846 “Omnibus environment and natural resources finance bill.” The Conference Committee Report (latest version of the bill) is 207 pages. This has the horrible “advanced biofuel” and forest incineration stuff in it, made even worse. At lines 167.11 et seq there is language that seems to eliminate the MPCA Citizens’ Board.
The Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP) letter to Dayton asking for a veto enumerates other problems, most of which seem valid.
But most striking to me is this:
Breaking the Compromise Agreement on Biofuels: The signed agreement between energy, agriculture, and environment stakeholders would establish the next-generation biofuel industry in Minnesota. This bill violates that agreement, undercutting our ability to establish perennial crops for ethanol production and develop new beneficial agricultural systems to protect and restore our lakes, rivers and streams in some our most polluted watersheds in the heart of farm country. The compromise agreement had broad bipartisan support and united agricultural and environmental interests. The full agreement should be restored in a revised budget bill.
In other words, the sins of MEP in signing on to this dirty deal are visited on the rest of us.
Ron Meador has a piece in MinnPost worth reading: Legislature’s environmental vandalism could undo Dayton legacy on buffers. (But Meador has also drunk the “advanced biofuel” coolaid.)
In any case the bottom line is that Dayton has until Midnight on Saturday, May 23rd, to veto H.F. 1437 and H.F. 856.
There are various ways to contact the governor’s office, including:
Toll Free: 800-657-3717
Direct email to the Governor (who knows who reads this?)
Governor Dayton’s facebook page (post a comment)