Legislature Lurches

Spring                                                                      Beltane Moon

The legislature lurches toward adjournment, up ending decades of environmental legislation as it goes, e.g.  permitting relaxation, a transfer of school trust lands out of the DNR’s purview (about 50% of land currently under their management), a probable wolf season.

A major reason for the bad outcomes (from my point of view) is the legislature’s focus on three big issues:  Viking stadium, a bonding bill and the Republican tax legislation.  These are the issues with which the governor has engaged and around which he has used his leverage in negotiations.  Our issues have not risen to the top of any of these debates.

This session, my third as chair of the Sierra Club’s legislative committee, is my last and I don’t like going out on this note, but there you are.  The next big target for all environmental activists has to be the 2012 elections where a concerted effort will be made to change control of both chambers of the legislature.

The ebb and flow of political fortunes, effected as always by many factors outside anyone’s direct control–economy, world military engagements, current social issue orientations–will give us a favorable climate at some point.  We need to work to make that point the 2013-4 legislative session.