Summer 2019 Newsletter: Minnesota’s 2019 Legislative Session

Conservation Minnesota’s network delivered over 26,000 postcards, emails, and phone calls to legislators and Governor Walz this session urging them to take action on our shared conservation priorities. Your voices of support allowed Minnesota to take important steps forward this year. Legislation was passed and signed into law that achieved the following:

  • Fixing the prior year’s raid of the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund
  • Increasing operating budgets for the state agencies that protect our lakes, rivers, and streams and conserve our natural resources
  • New funding for communities managing aquatic invasive species (AIS) and new support for research at the University of Minnesota to combat threats from AIS
  • Creating a new grant program called No Child Left Inside to get kids outdoors to build skills necessary for lifelong enjoyment of nature
  • Designating the Rusty Patch Bumble Bee as the official bee of Minnesota and starting the Lawns to Legumes grant program to develop more pollinator habitat
  • Banning flame retardants that pose health risks from use in consumer products

Throughout the session, thousands of Minnesotans voiced support for clean energy, and the Minnesota House of Representatives became the first legislative chamber in the Midwest to pass 100% Clean Energy by 2050. Despite this real progress, our work on several key issues—including clean energy—was left incomplete. Conservation Minnesota will build on this year’s work by being ready to finish the job in 2020, including:

  • Passing our Clean Energy First policy that was passed by the House, moved through several Senate committees, and awaits further action
  • Setting ambitious statewide water quality goals so that all of Minnesota’s lakes and rivers are swimmable and fishable by 2050
  • Protecting our communities and our families from harmful chemicals by passing the Trichloroethylene (TCE) ban that was dropped at the end of session despite bipartisan support

These are just a few of the dozens of issues Conservation Minnesota worked on this session. With the help of concerned Minnesotans, attacks on conservation policies were defeated, there were big steps forward, and we are poised for more success when the legislature meets again in February 2020.

By working together, we really can protect the Minnesota we all love.


Paul Austin
Executive Director