While acknowledging some good things in HF846, the massive agriculture and environment omnibus finance bill, thirty-six environmental groups--including Greater Minnesota-based grassroots organizations like Clean Up The River Environment (CURE) and Mankato Area Environmentalists--have sent a letter to Governor Mark Dayton urging him to veto the bill.
Here's the letter that has been sent to the Governor's office:
As we noted in Veto HF846: concerned citizens to gather at Governor's residence on Thursday, May 21 & demand that we Keep Minnesota Clean, there's a festive, child-friendly, all-ages gathering tomorrow morning to ask Governor Mark Dayton for his veto:
From the Facebook page for the Keep Minnesota Clean Event at the Governor’s Mansion:
Join together to ask Governor Dayton to veto the dirty environment bill and ask the legislature to fix it to keep MN clean. #KeepMNClean
What the bill does:
- Eliminates the MN Pollution Control Agency's Citizens' Board
- Raids dedicated environmental funds
- Allows deceptive labeling for pollinator-friendly plants
- Exempts sulfide mining waste from solid waste rules
- Grants polluters amnesty from enforcement and penalties
We'll gather at 10:30AM
Kids encouraged!! This is an event with a positive message.
A program of speakers will begin at 11:00 a.m. To represent river otters living on the Upper Minnesota River, CURE is sending a nice-looking Swedish-American guy from Montvideo dressed in an otter suit:
What will Governor Dayton do?
We're reading mixed messages in the media about the Governor's intentions. At the Star Tribune, Josephine Marcotty reports in New Minnesota law beefs up buffers along waterways:
The law, however, is not a done deal. It passed both houses, but its funding comes from a bill that failed to pass the Senate.
Meanwhile, some DFL legislators and environmental groups are urging Dayton to veto the entire environmental policy bill because it contains many provisions they find unacceptable, including the buffer rules.
The Minnesota Environmental Partnership described the buffer law as “insufficient,” and Friends of the Mississippi River said that while it’s a step in the right direction, it doesn’t do nearly enough.
“We are extremely grateful to the governor for being such a champion for our waters,” said Whitney Clark, executive director of Friends of the Mississippi. “It’s unfortunate that it is not stronger.”
Farm groups, which said they wanted more input on how the law came together, were also lukewarm on the final version. . .
The Brainerd Dispatch's Zach Kayser reports in Dayton, Brainerd legislators like buffer bill:
In a press conference with greater Minnesota reporters Tuesday afternoon, Dayton said although he had yet to fully examine the bills that along with the education measure passed in the frenetic final hours of the session, he liked what he saw on shoreland buffers.
The language on buffers was a "very, very compelling reason" to sign the larger bill containing the buffer strip measure, he said.
However, there were other provisions in the bill that Dayton said he opposed, including the elimination of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Citizens' Board.
"But, I don't expect to have bills that I agree with entirely," he said. "That's a guarantee when you have a divided government. ... I'm prepared to accept things I don't like in the spirit of compromise." . . .
Sounds like those asking Dayton to veto the bill have our work cut out for us.
Photos: River otters (above); Those hard-working kids at CURE broke out the otter suit on their behalf.
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