Which Side Are They On? The 2015 Minnesota Legislative Scorecard
On October 1st, Clean Water Action released a scorecard for the 2015 Minnesota legislative session, scoring every state legislator on their votes on significant environmental bills. The scorecard reveals both disappointingly low environmental scores from some legislators and notable scores from environmental champions. More than half (57.2%) of our Minnesota legislature received a failing environmental score for the 2015 legislative session.
The scorecard focused on votes about clean energy policy, keeping plastic microbeads out of our water, the Omnibus Environmental and Natural Resources Finance bill, the Toxic Free Kids Act, and more.
2015 Legislative Recap
The regular 2015 legislative session has come to an end and it is almost certain that Governor Dayton will convene a special session. While we are pleased to have achieved some of our policy goals, we are disappointed that this year truly turned out to be a session of missed opportunities to protect our environment and safeguard public health.
Despite the disappointment, the legislature acted favorably on the Firefighter and Children’s Health Protection Act, a bill that requires a study on the effects of six flame retardants by January, 2016 and bans four of the most toxic flame retardants from being used in upholstered furniture and children’s products. The legislature also approved $1 million in funding for Forever Green, an initiative to accelerate development of cover crops and perennial crops that protect water quality and enhance wildlife habitat. We also helped pass favorable language for the Buffer Initiative, a policy that will protect our water resources by requiring a 50 foot buffer for public waters by November 2017 and a 16.5 foot buffer for public ditches by November, 2018. Read more.
Great Lakes Lobby Day in DC
In early March, the Great Lakes came to the Nation’s Capital. The Annual Great Lakes Day is a gathering of Great Lakes advocates from across the region, who bring their love and passion for the Great Lakes to Members of Congress. Clean Water Action helped recruit and organize the Minnesota delegation of nearly a dozen community members, local government officials, and business owners.