Governor Vetoes Energy and Environment Bills

On Saturday, after a great deal of pressure from environmental advocacy groups, Governor Dayton vetoed two additional budget bills—the jobs/energy and agriculture/environment bills.  These were the two bills that contained most of the policy and budget items of interest to MMUA.

The energy bill included a provision allowing municipal utilities and co-ops to collect a reasonable and appropriate fee to cover the fixed costs of serving distributed generation customers.  Though not highlighted in his veto letter, the Governor did express his concern with this provision during his press conference, calling net metering an “important tool” for growing clean energy.  The Governor also noted that he didn’t think the bill adequately funded the Department of Commerce, which houses the Division of Energy Resources.

In his veto of the environment bill, the Governor expressed opposition to provisions that would limit certain MPCA regulation authorities.  His veto letter lists many of the provisions helpful to municipal wastewater facilities (and supported by MMUA) as items of concern.


So…What Now?

With the addition of the environment and energy bills to the negotiations (on top of education), the Special Session has become much more complicated.  The fact that the State Capitol has been vacated by legislators/staff and cleared of furniture for the renovations also adds to the complications.

The Governor and House Speaker Kurt Daudt are scheduled to hold their first meeting today. Dayton has stated that he will not call the Special Session until an agreement is reached with House/Senate leadership, so it remains unknown when or where the Special Session will occur.