MN 54B

Minnesota house district 54B includes the southeast portion of Washington County and the far northeast portion of Dakota County. Republican incumbent Tony Jurgens is being challenged by Democrat Tina Folch. CM Voter Center researched voting records and candidate websites for issues related to conservation. Here is what we found:


Tony Jurgens’ Conservation Voting History

Voted to eliminate the wild rice sulfate standard. [1]

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

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Voted to limit clean energy job growth and to remove opportunities for the public to participate in significant energy and pollution decisions. [2]

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. [3]

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

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

[3] 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):


tina folch’s Conservation platform

Democratic candidate Tina Folch has made the following statements on issues related to conservation:

“Promote Clean Energy and Slow Down Climate Change. As renewable energy has become cost effective, there is not a reason why our State should not be a leader in investing in renewable energies and continuing to foster this jobs-rich industry.” [4]


To find out more about each candidate, visit and

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