SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Today, the Minnesota House approved a new environment and natural resources budget. Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL – Roseville) is the chief author of legislation that was included in the budget.
“Like many Minnesotans, I grew up hunting, fishing, and harvesting wild rice with my family, and I know how important these traditions are to other families throughout our state,” said Rep. Becker-Finn. “Now more than ever, we must protect our environment, natural resources, and the health of Minnesotans so future generations can enjoy these traditions and the natural beauty of our state.”
Rep. Becker-Finn’s legislation to ban toxic flame retardant chemicals that increase health risks for children and firefighters is one of the highlights of the budget. The bill would also fund measures to reduce the use of industrial toxins like trichloroethylene (TCE) and provide screenings for lead and asthma. The budget improves support for communities facing health risks due to pollution, while taking significant action to prevent these issues from occurring in the first place.
The budget provides Minnesotans with greater access to our great outdoors. Rep. Becker-Finn’s No Child Left Inside provision would fund outdoor environmental, ecological, and natural resource-based programs for Minnesota youth, particularly those who wouldn’t otherwise have access to these opportunities.
Innovative solutions for long-term environmental issues are offered in the budget, including support for comprehensive efforts to research and control aquatic invasive species. It also manages the outbreak of chronic wasting disease (CWD), which threatens Minnesota’s wild deer population. The “Adopt a Dumpster” program introduced by Rep. Becker-Finn would help hunters safely dispose of carcasses, lowering the risk of spreading the prions that cause CWD.
The budget also strengthens protections for Minnesota’s fish and wildlife. It increases support for pollinators by establishing a Lawns to Legumes program to assist homeowners who want to convert their lawns to pollinator-friendly habitat and designating the threatened Rusty Patched Bumble Bee as the official state bee.