(April 15, 2015, St. Paul, Minn) – Today, the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee is hearing public testimony on the Environment and Natural Resources Omnibus Finance bill. The Minnesota Environmental Partnership and its more than 70 member organizations oppose many provisions in this bill that harm the progress Minnesota has made in protecting our Great Outdoors. Below is a statement from Minnesota Environmental Partnership executive director Steve Morse.
“Clean, safe water is central to life in Minnesota – for our families, communities, and economy. Yet the House Environment and Natural Resources Omnibus Finance bill weakens and undermines the efforts underway to protect our most treasured resource,” said Morse. “Provisions within this bill add costly duplicative processes, making it more difficult and slower to adopt and enforce water quality standards. Current basic health standards for our lakes, rivers and streams are suspended and citizens are removed from their role of providing basic oversight of our Pollution Control Agency.
“On top of all this, this House budget bill makes dramatic cuts to Environment and Natural Resources programs in a time when Minnesota is flush with a $2 billion budget surplus. They propose a 13% reduction from the Governor’s budget recommendation and raid another $51 million from other funds dedicated to cleaning up of our water. This amounts to breaking open the state’s piggy bank when the state coffers are overflowing. Minnesotans are clear that they support smart investments in our environment and natural resources. If not now, in a year we have a surplus, when?”
Morse plans to provide testimony on the Environment and Natural Resources Omnibus Finance bill later today.
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About Minnesota Environmental Partnership
Minnesota Environmental Partnership is a coalition of more than 70 environmental, conservation, and civic organizations working together for clean water, clean energy and protection of our Great Outdoors. The Minnesota Environmental Partnership engages state leaders, unites environmental efforts and helps citizens take action for the Minnesota they love.