The legislature can change, and does change, recommendations from stakeholder groups and citizen groups. What is surprising is that the Republican-controlled House Legacy Committee took $6,492,000 away from projects recommended by the Clean Water Council, a stakeholder group, that would have protected drinking water when most of the money would have been spent in rural Minnesota. After all, Republicans did promise that they would be the ones who would take care of rural Minnesota.
Understanding how contaminants might reach a municipal drinking water well is fundamental to protecting public health. Some of this money could have paid for experts who could work with local communities to develop source water protection plans for their municipal drinking water wells.
There are 852 community public drinking water wells in Minnesota. Right now only 355 wells have protection plans; 117 are in process. That means 380 don’t have plans at all.
So, do Republicans not care about drinking water?
Or, do Republicans not care about rural Minnesota?
Or, do Republicans not care about drinking water in rural Minnesota?
Those seem to be the choices.
April 20, an update: Rep Gunther is looking a remedy. All Minnesotans should wish him success.