My House colleagues and I began voting on budget legislation yesterday! I was proud to see the education budget pass and look forward to supporting the jobs and energy budget this afternoon. Here’s an update on that legislation and the ongoing Water Gremlin issue:
Investing in Minnesota Students
Our students are the future of our state. Our E-12 education budget increases investment in Minnesota schools and early care and learning opportunities. It increases the state’s commitment to schools by three percent in 2020 and two percent in 2021. This will help communities across the state keep up with costs and inflation so they don’t have to resort to teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, or pushing costs onto local taxpayers.
The budget also includes support for students inside and outside the classroom, improvements to school safety, and funding for resources that teachers and support staff need to help our students reach their full potential. 8,000 more of our youngest Minnesotans will have access to early care and learning programs. The legislation also supports child care providers and professionals. My proposal to offer grants to child care professionals who provide consistent, high-quality care is included!
A fact sheet on the E-12 education budget is available here.
Building a Secure and Prosperous Future
Minnesotans deserve clean air and water, well-paying and reliable jobs, and a secure and successful future for their kids. The House jobs and energy budget accomplishes this with:
This legislation will help ensure that Minnesota remains beautiful and prosperous for generations to come!
Water Gremlin Updates
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will hold three public availability sessions in early May. Staff will be available to talk one-on-one with residents.
When: Wednesday, May 1 and Tuesday, May 7 from 6 – 8pm
Where: Birch Lake Elementary School, 1616 Birch Lake Avenue, White Bear Lake, MN 55110
When: Thursday, May 9 from 11am – 2pm
Where: Gem Lake City Office, 4200 Otter Lake Road, Gem Lake, MN 55110
The MPCA has also released additional information regarding the results of testing and monitoring around the Water Gremlin site. Air monitoring at five locations surrounding the Water Gremlin plant began on March 1. An independent environmental consultant collects samples every three days and reports the data directly to the MPCA. TCE was detected twice in early March. The MPCA has verified that the facility is no longer using TCE and believes that this was the result of residue in the equipment. No measurable levels of TCE have been detected since then.
Water Gremlin replaced TCE with a product called FluoSolv WS. The main ingredient in this product is dichloroethylene (DCE). The company is required to report their daily usage of DCE to the MPCA and has significantly decreased that use since March 1.
Samples taken from private wells gave no indication that drinking water sources have been contaminated. Assessments of the groundwater and soil near the Water Gremlin site will start in May.
The results are available here. They will be updated every three days. If you have questions or concerns, you can contact the MPCA at 651-757-2998 or email@example.com. To speak to someone at the Minnesota Department of Health, call 651-201-4897 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please keep in touch during the remaining weeks of the legislative session!