This is the newsletter where DNR shares highlights from our interaction with Minnesota’s Legislature. Thanks for reading!

Budget
DNR continues to inform and educate our partners about the Governor’s proposed budget for DNR. This budget includes modest fee increases and GF support for DNR to maintain or improve services to all Minnesotans. Please see our press release and budget in brief documents for more information and reach out to us with specific questions.

Bonding
On Monday, HF892, containing the Governor’s bonding proposal, was introduced and referred to the House Capital Investment Committee. The companion, SF640, was likewise introduced and referred to the Senate Capital Investment Committee.

On Tuesday in the House Capital Investment Committee, Commissioner Myron Frans of Minnesota Management and Budget provided an overview of the Governor’s bonding proposal.

This week in Review (February 6th- 10th)

Recorded audio, and sometimes video, is available for many of these hearings. If you’re interested, please visit the House Audio and Video Archives page or the 2016 Committee meetings on the Senate Media Services page.

On Monday, SF723 (the Governor’s Budget bill for Environment and Natural Resources Appropriations) was introduced in the Senate and referred to Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee.  The chief author is Senator Ingebrigtsen and co-author Senator Tomassoni.

Also on Monday, the House Veterans Affairs Division heard a bill of interest to the DNR.

On Tuesday, the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee heard a bill of interest to the DNR.  Also on Tuesday the House Capital Investment Committee will heard MMB’s overview of the Governor’s Bonding Proposal.

On Wednesday, the House Subcommittee on Mining, Forestry & Tourism met to hear an overview presentation about the state of the iron ore industry in Minnesota.

Later on Wednesday the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance received an overview of the 2015-2017 Federal Clean Water Act Section 404 Permit Program Feasibility Study from the Board of Soil and Water Resources (BWSR) and DNR.

On Thursday, the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee heard a bill of interest to the DNR, and DNR began presenting the governor’s recommended FY18-19 Biennial Budget items.  This presentation will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

Next week (February 13th- 17th)

On Tuesday and Wednesday, DNR leadership will present the Governor’s budget package for DNR in the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee. DNR Division Directors will have the opportunity to present what Minnesotans get from this budget. By Thursday, the Committee is scheduled to receive the presentation on the Governor’s budget for Board of Soil and Water Resources.

The Senate Tax Committee will hear a bill of interest to the DNR on Tuesday.

On both Tuesday and Wednesday, the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee with hear bills of interest to the DNR related to recreation.

We anticipate additional hearings will be scheduled for next week after you receive this message – you can go online to find an up-to-date list of posted meetings (or news about changes to previously scheduled meetings) for the House and Senate.

Extra
As part of Governor Mark Dayton’s Year of Water Action, he announced Thursday a poster contest for youth on the subject of clean water. The Governor’s website states, “This contest raises awareness about water conservation and protection. Our goal is to educate and inspire youth to take the lead and ensure clean water for generations of Minnesotans to come.” More information can be found here.

Contact us
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please contact the DNR’s legislative team: Bob Meier, Annalee Garletz, or me.

Sincerely,
Amber Ellering
2017 Legislative Coordinator
Amber.Ellering@state.mn.us