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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL)

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Legislative Update - September 11, 2019

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Dear neighbors,

Since the legislative session adjourned in late May, I’ve continued working hard on issues that impact our community.

Advocating for Our Community

I’m honored to serve on the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR), a bipartisan group that advises the Legislature on how to allocate a portion of the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund that is dedicated to preserving Minnesota’s air, water, land, wildlife, and other natural resources.  

We are now finalizing our 2020 recommendations. Included in the recommendations is funding for research that will help us better understand the causes of the high groundwater levels in the metro, including in the Lake Nokomis and Hiawatha areas. More rain is one cause. Clearly there are also water management issues.

More rain should have been anticipated by our watershed district. Science has been telling us that climate change would bring more rain and that it could come in large amounts in a short period of time. In an August letter to me, the Chair of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) said “please know that the MCWD Board has engaged in preliminary conversations regarding long-range and scenario planning related to climate change, and will continue to do so with interest in ensuring this work aligns with, and is supported by, the work of others at the state, regional, and local level.” In my response, I urged rapid action to meet the challenge of climate change, and I will continue to press for changes that will better manage rain and groundwater and reduce water quality issues in our area.

I advocated for using Trust Fund dollars to reintroduce native mussels in the Upper River area and restore the Mississippi River shoreline. The proposal that we’re considering would improve habitat on four islands and along several miles of the shore before reintroducing several types of mussels that largely disappeared over 50 years ago. The mussels would clean the water and improve the area’s ecosystem. These changes would help enhance the riverfront as well.

Second Saturdays

My monthly meetings with community members will resume this coming Saturday. All are welcome to join me at these free events, which are held on the second Saturday of each month.

When: Saturday, September 14 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Where: Mayflower Church, 100 E. Diamond Lake Road, Minneapolis, MN 55419

Please contact Zach at zach.zimmmerman@house.mn with questions.

You can read more about the budget and new laws that took effect in July here. More information about the laws that went into effect in August is available here.

Please feel free to contact me about these issues or others that are important to you.

Sincerely,

Jean Wagenius
State Representative