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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL)

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Legislative Update - April 7, 2021

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Dear neighbors, 

The Minnesota Legislature is back from our annual Easter and Passover break, and we’re hitting the ground running. This week, House DFLers are focused on crafting a strong state budget for the next two years. The budget bills we unveiled earlier this week will help Minnesotans recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and thrive after it ends. They invest in our youngest Minnesotans, our students, our workers, and our small businesses – those who’ve been impacted most by COVID-19 – and ask big corporations and the wealthiest individuals to pay their fair share so we can fund the things that Minnesotans value.  


Hansen 4.7


Protecting Minnesota’s Environment and Natural Resources 

I’m very excited about the environment and natural resources budget that we put together this session! It’s a strong bill that addresses many significant threats to our state, including COVID-19, climate change, pollution and contamination, invasive species, and more. It contains funding to protect Minnesotans’ health and wellbeing as well as our air, water, land, and wildlife. Here are a few highlights:  

  • Ensuring that all Minnesotans can enjoy the great outdoors and recreational activities by improving accessibility and supporting programs like No Child Left Inside 
  • Mitigating the impacts of climate change by using our forests to sequester carbon 
  • Protecting animals and insects, including pollinators, that play a critical role in our ecosystems and food supply 
  • Managing invasive species, including Emerald Ash Borer and aquatic species, and researching innovative ways to keep them from spreading  
  • Protecting our deer population by strengthening regulations that prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease  
  • Making sure that Minnesotans who may be impacted by pollution in their communities are involved in permitting decisions and settlements  
  • Addressing racial inequities that often place communities of color at the highest risk for exposure to hazardous chemicals and contaminated drinking water  
  • Providing relief to industries and attractions impacted by COVID-19  

If you’d like to learn more about the budget bill, you can watch a detailed walkthrough here. We will hear testimony from Minnesotans and vote on the bill this Thursday, April 8 at 1:00 p.m. You can view it live here or watch it anytime on House Public Information Services’ YouTube channel. In addition, the Star Tribune recently published an opinion piece that highlights portions of the bill.  

The Senate is advancing their own budget bills this week. After each chamber passes budget legislation, legislators will negotiate and work together to resolve differences between our proposals.   


Upcoming Events and Activities 

In addition to the Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee hearing tomorrow, there’s an exciting event coming up on Earth Day. Three researchers from the University of Minnesota are holding a virtual event on Thursday, April 22 at 4 p.m. to highlight Minnesota’s endangered animals and plants and talk about their work in this critical area. You can learn more and register for the free event here.  


If you’d like to stay updated during the final weeks of the legislative session, please like my Facebook page. Feel free to share this email with family, friends, and neighbors who might be interested and let them know that they can subscribe to my legislative updates at https://bit.ly/HansenUpdates. As always, please continue sharing your questions and feedback. You can reach me at rep.rick.hansen@house.mn or 651-296-6828. 

Sincerely,  

Rick Hansen  
State Representative 

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