In an effort to ensure a supply of clean water for the next 50 years, Senator Jen McEwen (DFL–Duluth) pressed the Republican majority to allow debate on her bill to provide funding for a comprehensive study of Minnesota’s clean water resources and how to preserve them.
While her motion earned the support of a majority of Senators, on a vote of 34 to 33, the Republican majority blocked it from getting the required three-fifths supermajority required to allow it to be debated and passed. Following the vote, Senator McEwen released the following statement:
“Our clean water is our most valuable resource,” said Senator McEwen. “Access to it is a human right. Clean water is elemental to our identity, culture, tradition, economy and recreation. I am firmly committed to fighting to protect our clean water – from our beautiful Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters, to the Mississippi River and all across Minnesota. This is fundamental.”
“This proposal would have funded a nonpartisan, professional assessment of Minnesota’s clean water resources and offered recommendations for a comprehensive plan to ensure that we protect our clean water for the next 50 years. Each year more and more water bodies in Minnesota are impaired by PFAS, microplastics, lead, and more. We cannot afford to piecemeal this region-by-region as we reach crisis points. We need a plan from our experts to protect clean water for our entire state.”
“I am grateful for the support of a majority of my colleagues, but I am disappointed that this bill did not move forward with the 41 votes necessary. I will continue to fight for Minnesota’s clean water resources, because climate change will not wait while political leaders drag their feet, and monied interests will not stop influencing our legislature on matters that threaten Minnesota’s supply of clean water.”