On Monday, the Senate passed a comprehensive environment and natural resources bill on a bipartisanvote of 37-29. The omnibus budget bill, authored by Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria), emphasizes funding for Minnesota’s critical environment needs, prioritizes recycling and waste management, targets Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS), and supports groundwater preservation. The legislation also helps Minnesota’s tourism industry and increases funding for the state’s parks and trails. Lastly, the legislation modifies several wasteful regulations and removes the authority of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to enact the California Emission Standards without legislative approval.
“We want all Minnesotans to have access to an environment that is clean, accessible, and safe, and preserved for generations to come,” Ingebrigtsen said. “Minnesotans should be able to enjoy the outdoors, and our budget supports getting people out on our lakes, boosting our great tourism industry, and investing in our parks and trails that so many folks have relied on for entertainment over this past year.”
Other notable provisions include:
- Reuse and redevelopment of closed landfills for energy generation, including solar
- Implementation of a mattress recycling program
- Creation of the Minnesota River Basin Water Storage Program to protect and preserve groundwater
- Walleye limit reduction and minnow importation
“We also know that government bureaucracy can sometimes blur the line between sound policy and overreach,” Ingebrigtsen continued. “An example of this has been the recent attempt by the MPCA to implement California’s costly emission standards. Senate Republicans will continue to fight for sound policy that protects our communities without putting too much of a burden on Minnesotan families.”
The MPCA is circumventing the legislature and ignoring public concerns to adopt the controversial California emissions and car standards. The proposed change will increase cost, drive down supply, and make life less affordable for many Minnesotans, especially for lower-income and rural residents.
Anyone shopping for a new vehicle will see an increase between $800-$2500. Dealers in other states have said demand for sales has dropped by 7% since implementing California standards.
Abuse of the rulemaking process also opens up future rulemaking to bureaucratic control. As a result, Minnesotans could see future restrictions on construction trucks and farm equipment without the change garnering input from or even coming to a vote in the legislature.