The Line: March 11, 2013


Who Else Gets The Line?

I’ve received some emails over the past week from folks wondering if their legislators get the Line, so I thought it was worth letting everyone know the answer. Your Senator and Representative each receive a version of the Line focused on the bills up in their respective bodies each week. It’s a little different (I don’t tell them to call themselves), but yes, they do see a lot of the same things you do. So when you call or email them, tell them you saw it on the Line!

On The Line This Week…

Talkin’ Toxics

The Senate Commerce Committee is hearing three bills that protect Minnesota’s children from toxic chemicals.
SF379 (Sieben) bans Bisphenol A in children’s food packaging. BPA is a known carcinogen that causes neurological and developmental problems in kids.
SF 357 (Rest) bans formaldehyde in children’s hair and skin care products. It causes asthma and other respiratory problems when inhaled.
SF 466 (Eaton) requires manufacturers who sell products in Minnesota that contain certain toxic chemicals to report what those chemicals are and how much they’re using. I know…seems like they should have been doing this all along. They also have to come up with a plan to phase out those chemicals and use safer alternatives. I know, seems like they also should have been doing that all along.
The House Commerce Committee might be hearing HF605 (Winkler), the same reporting and phase out requirement bill that’s being heard in the Senate.

What’s In Your Water?

When you turn on your faucet, you expect to see…water. But if you’ve been following the news, some people are draining us dry. HF 1100 (Wagenius) takes a step towards making sure that doesn’t happen by tightening up the permit requirements. It’s up in the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee.

Also in the news recently: there’s another threat to our lakes, rivers and streams: triclosan, a common antibacterial agent found in some cosmetics, toothpaste, and soaps. It’s linked to allergies, hay fever, and developmental problems in children. SF 1166 (Marty) bans products sold in Minnesota from containing triclosan. And if you’re wondering what we’ll replace it with, the Minnesota Department of Health, the US Food and Drug Administration, and the American Medical Association say that plain old soap and water is just as effective at killing bacteria. It’s up in the Senate Energy and Environment Committee.

If you are just as eager as I am to get nasty critters like zebra mussels out of our lakes and rivers, you’ll like HF 1091 (Isaacson). Currently, boaters who spread AIS have to pay fines, which is great, but HF 1091 also requires them to get some training so they know better next time. It’s up in the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

When we throw things in the garbage, we’re sometimes throwing away jobs. When the electronics waste law was put in place back in 2005, an entire industry creating hundreds of jobs was kickstarted around dismantling and figuring out how to reuse the materials from our old televisions and computers. A new round of product stewardship bills continues this trend. HF 865 (Sundin) and SF 639 (Eaton) take a step towards getting collection plans in place for carpet, paint and batteries. HF 865 is being heard by the House Commerce and Consumer Protection Finance and Policy Committee, and SF 639 is being heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

What is the Line? It’s Conservation Minnesota’s light, 100% Minnesotan look at conservation happenings at the Capitol as seen by me, a lobbyist who actually doesn’t go outside very much. Please don’t confuse the Line with the always enjoyable musings of the other, taller half of Conservation Minnesota’s government affairs team, John Tuma. You can (and should!) check out his blog here.
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About Molly Pederson

Molly brings expertise in communications and organization to us. She draws on her breadth of experience in the political, nonprofit and private sector realms to build broad support for issues. She’s a veteran of local and state campaigns Molly is an avid reader and has undertaken writing her own novel. Her interest in clean water and open spaces is a personal one as she enjoys sailing and cross-country skiing.
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