The sound of opposition was quiet and scattered.
A few Republican members offered up ‘nays’ while others sat silent, following the strong chorus of ‘ayes’ from DFL members of the House Environment and Natural Resources Finance Division Thursday as it voted to approve the omnibus environment and natural resources bill.
Likely ending division action for the session, the vote successfully moved along HF2209, as amended, and sponsored by Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul), to the House Ways and Means Committee, where it is scheduled to be heard April 10.
Hansen characterized the $1.75 billion House bill — introduced Tuesday — as a comprehensive proposal made up of bills presented by Democrats and Republicans.
Yet bipartisanship was not on display over an amendment offered by the division’s newest member, Rep. Nathan Nelson (R-Hinckley), who unsuccessfully sought to delete a provision that would rename St. Croix State Park to Walter F. Mondale State Park.
Doing so would likely require an act of Congress, Nelson suggested, due to historic site designations. Nor is the funding provided adequate to cover the cost of replacing signs, he said.
Bob Meier, policy and government relations director for the Department of Natural Resources, concurred that the “fiscal is probably south of what we are going to need” for replacing signs. Historic designation of several buildings would likely require a historical review, he added, but the naming of state parks is entirely within the purview of the Legislature.
The division did approve several other amendments. They would: