MN 34B

Minnesota house district 34B includes Maple Grove and Osseo. Republican incumbent Dennis Smith is being challenged by Democrat Kristin Bahner. CM Voter Center researched voting records and candidate websites for issues related to conservation. Here is what we found:


Dennis Smith’s Conservation Voting History

Voted against protecting public drinking water. [1]

His vote was intended to stop the Minnesota Department of Agriculture from taking decisive action to ensure every Minnesotan has safe drinking water.

Nitrate pollution in public and private wells has been increasing in many parts of the state. Testing found that 537 public wells across Minnesota had elevated levels of nitrate. This has left communities across our state looking for ways to protect drinking water for their schools, businesses, and residents.

[1] The bill, H.F. 2887, can be found here:

Smith, Dennis.jpg

Voted to eliminate the wild rice sulfate standard. [2]

On April 23, 2018, the Minnesota House of Representatives voted to eliminate an important water quality standard designed to protect wild rice from sulfate pollution. As the state’s first ever copper-nickel mine enters the final stages of permitting, eliminating the wild rice sulfate standard could have meant fewer safeguards against water pollution for the Polymet project and future mining proposals near the Boundary Waters.

[2] See House Session Daily Story entitled, “House votes to nullify long-standing wild rice water standard“ at


Voted to limit clean energy job growth and to remove opportunities for the public to participate in significant energy and pollution decisions. [3]

Minnesota has a long history of innovation and citizen engagement. However, during the 2017 legislative session, the Minnesota House of Representatives voted on a bill that would have limited citizen’s involvement in state energy and pollution decisions and could have slowed clean energy job growth across the state. [4]

The bill proposed to:

  • Exempt petroleum pipelines from the public comment and environmental review process at the Public Utilities Commission

  • Politicize the appointment of commissioners to the Public Utilities Commission

  • Prevent local communities from addressing plastic bag litter and pollution

  • Repeal the Made in Minnesota solar program, which created local clean energy job

[3] The Journal of the House reports the vote here (page 4306):

[4] See HF2209/SF1937 as amended, described by House Session Daily here:

Voted against protecting pollinators from neonic pesticides on state Wildlife Management Areas.[5]


On May 3, 2018 an amendment was offered during discussion on the Omnibus Supplemental Finance bill which would have forbidden the use of neonic insecticides on state Wildlife Management Area. Currently these state-owned areas are allowed to use neonic insecticides which can be toxic to honey bees, native bees, and other pollinators even in very low concentrations.

[5] The Journal of the House reported the vote here (page 10217):


Kristin bahner’s Conservation platform

Democratic candidate Kristin Bahner has made the following statements on issues related to conservation:

“If elected, I will be a champion of both science and evidence-based measures backed by solid peer reviewed research. I believe the scientific community when they call for a reduction in carbon emissions to protect the future of our children. If elected, I would: 

  • Champion the increase of sources of “true” clean and renewable energy, such as wind and solar.

  • Work to bring renewable energy jobs to our state.

  • Protect clean water and preserve our pristine lakes and rivers by standing firm on environmental safeguards.” [6]


We have done our best to represent each candidate in a fair and reasonable way. To find out more about each candidate, visit and