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

Budget

DNR leadership completed presentations of the Governor’s budget package for DNR in the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee this week.

Our press release and budget in brief documents provide detail about our initiatives and how they benefit all Minnesotans.

Bonding

There is no significant activity on bonding to report this week.

This week in Review (February 13th- 17th)

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 Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, DNR leadership presented the Governor’s budget package for DNR in the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee. These presentations are now complete for all DNR Divisions.

On Tuesday the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Finance Committee, heard a bill of interest to the DNR related to ATV trail system funds. This bill was passed out of committee.

On Wednesday, the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee with heard a separate bill of interest to the DNR related to Snowmobile and ATV funds. This bill passed out of committee.

Also on Wednesday, the Senate Transportation Committee heard a bill of interest to the DNR regarding wetland replacement, which was passed out of committee. The bill was passed out of committee.

Next week (February 20th-24th)

You can view the schedule for the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Finance Committeehere.  The Senate Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance Committee’s schedule can be found here. Likewise, you can view the schedule for the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee here. While we track bills through many other committees, these are the ones with primary responsibility for environment and natural resources topics.

On Monday, the House Legacy Finance Committee has a full agenda including a DNR Overview of the Parks and Trails Fund.

On Monday evening the DNR will provide information on buffer mapping to a Joint Meeting of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing Finance; and Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Finance.  MN Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) will also present on alternative practices.  The Committee Chairs have indicated no official action will be taken.

On Tuesday the House Agriculture Policy Committee will hear a bill of interest to the DNR regarding roadside mowing.

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.

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