Senator Scott Dibble

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Senator D. Scott Dibble first became involved in politics in the mid-1980s working on issues concerning the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) communities including policies affecting those with HIV and AIDS. His involvement led to organizing on issues of social and economic justice—especially in the areas of neighborhood livability, transportation, housing, energy, and the environment. He later worked as aide to Minneapolis City Council Member Doré Mead for six years. Dibble ran for, and won, a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2000, becoming the third openly gay legislator to serve in the Minnesota Legislature. After serving one term in the House, Dibble ran for State Senate in 2002 where he is now serving in his fifth term.

Sen. Dibble has played a key role in a number of legislative successes, including:

  • The passage of an historic transportation funding measure
  • Enactment of the Freedom to Breath Act, ensuring clean indoor air for all workers
  • Approval of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act
  • Serving as chief author of legislation to merge the closed police and fire pension funds with the state system, saving Minneapolis property tax payers $26 million in 2012
  • Providing leadership to prevent neighborhood programs from total elimination
  • Serving as legislative leader on bullying prevention and issues relating to HIV and AIDS

As the chair of the Senate’s Transit Subdivision, Sen. Dibble played a pivotal role in the override of Gov. Pawlenty’s veto of a vital transportation improvement bill that will allow the Twin Cities to build a transit system for the 21st century. He was also asked to serve on a special investigative committee that looked into the tragic collapse of the I-35W Bridge. Sen. Dibble continues to be a leader in the Minnesota Senate on legislation relating to transportation and transit, energy efficiency, the environment, housing, and economic development. Sen. Dibble has helped position Minnesota as a leader among the states that are working to solve critical clean air, global warming, and economic challenges. Dibble has served as chief author or as a lead negotiator on groundbreaking energy efficiency standards, implementation of a nation-leading renewable energy standard, establishment of a carbon dioxide reduction mandate, instituting the nation’s most stringent mercury emission reduction requirements for coal-fired energy, the first legislation in the country on hybrid plug in electric cars, programs to aid the construction of green buildings and to assist local governments in building more energy efficient facilities. Sen. Dibble helped author and served on the state’s Green Jobs Task Force charged with developing a comprehensive economic development policy charged with shaping Minnesota’s participation in the Green Economy for generations to come. Sen. Dibble has helped lead the charge defending against numerous attacks on human rights over the past 12 years, especially directed against the GLBT community. He helped defeat a proposed anti-marriage constitutional amendment successfully for a number of years, and helped to defeat the amendment when it was on the ballot in 2012. He successfully worked for the passage of the Freedom to Marry Act in 2013, allowing same-sex couples to be married in Minnesota. He worked to successfully pass the Safe and Supportive Schools Act in 2014, which creates an approach needed to stop bullying of students in Minnesota’s schools.

Additional Legislative accomplishments include:

  • The tenant bill of rights
  • Leadership on key capital bonding projects such as light rail transit, high-speed rail, and the Minnesota Orchestra
  • Improvements for Minneapolis Community and Technical College
  • Establishing more solar energy production
  • A response to the foreclosure crisis
  • Fighting on behalf of tipped employees
  • Protecting the Minnesota renter’s tax credit
  • Championing housing and job supports for those with disabilities and mental illness

Sen. Dibble lives in Uptown, in the East Isles neighborhood. He is married to Richard Leyva and in his spare time, Sen. Dibble is an avid runner, swimmer, weight lifter, and triathlete, and has run in several marathons across the United States. He enjoys theater, film, reading, cooking, and travel.

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    Minnesota LGBTQ Legislative Caucus Responds to
    Colleague’s Tweet on Transgender People

    Rep. Karen Clark
    Sen. D. Scott Dibble
    Rep. Susan Allen
    Rep. Erin Maye Quade

    November 9, 2017

    It is a shame to read on social media a statement by a public official that perpetuates a false and pejorative stereotype about transgender people.

    We encourage our colleague, Representative Mary Franson, to get the facts and to get to know transgender people herself. She will quickly learn that, as the American Psychological Association says, being transgender is not a mental illness. Problems arise for transgender people from lack of support and acceptance that creates the path for discrimination, and all too often assault, that almost all transgender people experience at one time or another. When leaders who hold positions of respect casually trade in negative comments about transgender people, some interpret that as an invitation to treat their fellow Minnesotans poorly.

    Our job as state legislators and policy makers is to ensure that there is as much opportunity as possible in Minnesota so that all people can pursue their dreams and aspirations. Putting barriers in place for anyone, doing active harm to our own neighbors, is antithetical to our country’s core values – a place where everyone is free and everyone is equal. We all are better off when people are able to contribute the best of themselves in every Minnesota community.

    We celebrate that two transgender people, Phillipe Cunningham and Andrea Jenkins, both with deep and broad experience, have stepped up to public service and won election to the Minneapolis City Council. In Virginia, we are delighted to welcome the first transgender member of a state legislature elected as an out transgender person, Danica Roem. We know that they all will serve their constituents with distinction and hard work.


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    With the historic renovation of the Minnesota State Capitol complete, we invite you to join us, our colleagues in the legislature, Governor Dayton and other state officials for a weekend of celebration this Friday, August 11 through Sunday, August 13. With events including yoga on the Capitol Mall lawn, guided tours of the renovations, concerts, panel discussions on Minnesota history and current events, and a beer garden, you're sure to find something fun and interesting to do! Check out the event page for more details-- including instructions on how to print a transit pass to get to the Capitol for free this weekend! ...

    Minnesota State Capitol Grand Opening Celebration

    August 11, 2017, 7:30am - August 13, 2017, 8:00pm

    The Minnesota State Capitol Grand Opening Celebration is a three-day long event being held August 11-13 at the fully restored State Capitol in Saint Paul. The celebration commemorates the completion of the Capitol Restoration Project and welcomes ALL Minnesotans back to the “People’s House” at a nearly cost-free weekend-long event. Visit us online at for more information about Grand Opening weekend, daily event schedules, ticket sales, directions, maps and more! Be sure to mark your calendar, it’s sure to be a summer celebration you won’t want to miss! ___________________________________________________ GRAND OPENING WEEKEND EVENT HIGHLIGHTS: • Kids Zone featuring family-friendly events hosted by the Science Museum of Minnesota, Minnesota Children's Museum, Minnesota Zoo, the Minnesota Historical Society, and famous authors and librarians from across the state. • Outstanding Entertainment includes diverse music and dance performances from groups of singers and dancers celebrating Minnesota's vibrant culture! Other entertainment highlights include a Prince Dance Party with DJ Dudley D, "Cap Untapped" Craft Beer Garden Event presented by the Minnesota Craft Brewer's Guild and The Current, a free evening concert from The Current Presets: Cloud Cult and Polica, an extended fireworks show, and "Bring the Sing on the Capitol Green" community choral event lead by Classical Minnesota Public Radio and VocalEssence! • Yoga and Breakfast on the Capitol Lawn: Grab your yoga mat and join us for some sun salutations on the Capitol Mall! Yoga classes will be led by the YWCA St. Paul. On Saturday, free water bottles are provided to participants while supplies last. A limited supply of free blueberry muffins will be served each day, compliments of General Mills. • Tours: Guides from the Minnesota Historical Society and a host of Capitol tenant volunteers will lead you on a tour of the Minnesota State Capitol building. Grand Opening Tours will include special behind-the-scenes looks at restored spaces including the Loggia and Quadriga, Governor's Office, the House and Senate Retiring Rooms, and the private Supreme Court Conference Room. Dusk each day will feature a special viewing, raising, and lighting of the Rotunda Chandelier. • Getting to the Capitol: Take free Metro Transit rides on Saturday and Sunday to the Capitol. State-owned Capitol-area parking lots are accessible for free on Saturday and Sunday. ___________________________________________________ THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS, PARTNERS, AND THE PEOPLE OF MINNESOTA! JE Dunn Construction, Xcel Energy Minnesota, Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council, Metropolitan Council, Star Tribune, Cargill, HGA Architects and Engineers, Pohlad Family Foundation, Hubbard Broadcasting, Minnesota Craft Brewer's Guild, Minnesota Vikings, Comcast, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Target, 3M, Best Buy, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Tunheim, Mortenson Construction, Delta, Clear Channel Outdoor, Carl Bolander & Sons, Minnesota Power an ALLETE Company, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Lynx, Thrivent Financial, AFSCME, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., Harris Companies, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Faegre Baker Daniels, Ameriprise Financial, Messerli & Kramer, Alpha Video & Audio, Minnesota Community Foundation, Cost Planning & Management International, Inc, (CPMI), Medtronic, CHS, Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P., University of Minnesota, Minnesota College Savings Plan, YWCA St. Paul, General Mills, Land O'Lakes, Inc., Minnesota Orchestra, Pioneer Press, Minnesota Public Radio, and COMPAS.

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