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

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Legislative Update - July 23, 2019

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Dear neighbors,

In my last legislative update, I shared information about how legislation that my colleagues and I passed this session helps the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) protect our clean water. This week, I wanted to talk about other important work that the MPCA is doing.

The environment and natural resources budget fully funds the MPCA’s base budget for 2020 – 2021 and funds many of Governor Walz’s environmental priorities. Some of the Governor’s budget requests that received funding will:

  • Accelerate the process of moving paper-based data and services online. This will help citizens, businesses, and communities quickly access information, permits, and certifications.
  • Help businesses transition away from using trichloroethylene (TCE). About 90 businesses in Minnesota use TCE, a known carcinogen, for manufacturing purposes. The University of Minnesota’s Technical Assistance Program will reach out to these businesses and provide the support they need to transition to safer alternatives.
  • Assess potential vapor intrusion sites. Contaminated air molecules from Superfund or Closed Landfill sites sometimes remain even after an environmental clean-up. These molecules can seep through foundation cracks and cause indoor air concerns in homes, buildings, and businesses. The MPCA was on track to assess all of Minnesota’s potential vapor intrusion sites by 2061, but this funding will help accelerate their work. The MPCA is expected to complete the statewide assessment by 2028.
  • Reduce food waste. Food waste makes up 30 – 40 percent of the waste going into our landfills. The MPCA is developing a food rescue grant program to help businesses and communities reduce food waste. Food waste can be diverted for other purposes, such as feeding people and animals or creating compost, to help address food insecurity and save the state millions in landfill costs.

Midwestern Legislative Conference

I’m currently representing Minnesota at the Council of State Governments (CSG) Midwestern Legislative Conference in Chicago. I’ve enjoyed exchanging ideas with legislators from the Midwest and four Canadian provinces, and I’m looking forward to using what I’ve learned to make our state even better.

For the past two days, I’ve been learning more about a wide variety of issues and working hard on possible solutions with other members of the three committees that I serve on – the Executive Committee, the Resolutions Committee, and the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

If you’re interested in the work I’m doing, I’ve included links with overviews of two presentations that I attended this morning. The first one was about civic engagement and how states are preparing young people to be active citizens, and the second focused on how states can adapt to labor market changes and prepare for the jobs of the future. More information is available here and here.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or input.

Sincerely,

Rick Hansen
State Representative

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