Conservation issues aren’t Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative. Our bipartisan lobbying team has decades of experience connecting with elected officials and managing issue campaigns. We track bills from introduction until they’re either passed or defeated by the legislature, and finally signed into law or vetoed by the governor. Through each step, we communicate the concerns and positions shared by all Minnesotans who expect our elected officials to protect our lakes, land and air. Among the highlights from 2011:
Conservation Funding Takes Major Hit
With Minnesota facing an historic budget deficit, our lobbying team diligently monitored the conservation funding packages proposed by Governor Dayton, and the House and Senate. The proposed cuts were devastating, and threatened to drop the portion of the budget dedicated to our great outdoors below the already tiny 1% of the total General Fund. Our efforts paid off with some improvements and restored funding, but we’re still looking at the entire budget to see how we fared. Stay tuned.
Logging in state parks
It sounds pretty unbelievable, but during a House Environment Energy & Natural Resources committee hearing, a provision was slipped into the budget bill that required the state to log for timber in two state parks as a way of generating revenue. Conservation Minnesota launched a massive lobbying, communications and outreach campaign that generated hundreds of calls to legislators. Just a few days later, the House voted overwhelmingly to keep our state parks from turning into logging operations and took out the provision.
Clean Energy Powers Minnesota
In 2007, the Next Generation Energy Act of Minnesota was signed into law by Governor Pawlenty after passing the Legislature with broad, bipartisan support. The Act contained a provision that requires new coal plants to offset their greenhouse gas emissions before they can be built or import power in the state. In another major backslide this year, the House and Senate passed a repeal of this requirement. Conservation Minnesota aimed our lobbying and outreach efforts at Governor Dayton, who ultimately vetoed the bill and kept Minnesota on a clean energy path.