Help Wanted: MN COLA’s Legislative Agenda needs YOU!

The 2023 Minnesota Legislature convened on January 3rd with over sixty new members among the 67 Senators and 134 Representatives.  MN COLA has its work cut out to help make things happen on our Legislative Agenda to address our surface water quality issues, and we need your help!

Read on to get insights into the 2023 Legislative session, see the critical items on MN COLA’s Legislative Agenda, and get suggestions and next actions for you to take to help us in this truly important effort.

Critical Items in the 2023 Legislature Agenda

Among the many subject matters on the agenda are not only completing their 2023 agenda, but also the numerous unfinished matters remaining from the 2022 Legislature, including:

  • 2023 Agenda
  • 2023-25 State of Minnesota budget
  • Unfinished 2022 Matters
    • Public safety measures
    • Capital improvements and bonding bill
    • Natural resources bill including watercraft operator license, MAISRC funding, and grant funds for AIS prevention and control

Suggestions and Next Actions

Considering the significant environment and natural resources matters of interest for our lake associations combined with the large number of newly elected legislators joining the reelected legislators in the membership of the 2023 Legislature, we have a major challenge ahead.  Actions that we can take include the following:

  • Need to connect with key Committee chairs
    • House Committees:
      • Environment and Natural Resources;  Rep Rick Hansen, Chair
    • Senate Committees:
      • Legacy and Natural Resources;  Senator Foung Hawj (pronounced “Her”), Chair
      • Energy, Utilities, Environment & Climate;  Senator Nick Frentz, Chair
  • Maybe a “Lake Association Day” at the Capitol
    • MNCOLA “High Priority” matters for consideration
      • Regulate watercraft usage and wake actions
      • Sustainable funding for MN AIS Research Center (MAISRC)
      • Initiate watercraft operator license program to improve water safety
      • Increase boater AIS compliance with stronger enforcement
      • Update the 2014 AIS funding initiative and model for watercraft inspections
      • Long-term AIS Plan; an updated, more proactive DNR AIS Management Plan is needed; get our lake associations and MNCOLA engaged