District 16 State Sen. Gary Dahms was recognized by the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) July 25 during the coalition’s three-day summer conference in Bemidji for his positive impact on the state’s environmental policy.

Dahms, a Republican from Redwood Falls, is serving his third term in the Minnesota Senate.

The Legislator of Distinction Award is given to legislators who played key roles in advancing CGMC’s policy during the preceding legislative session.

As cities across the state struggle with the necessary but expensive task of upgrading and replacing their water and wastewater treatment facilities, Sen. Dahms has been a leader in trying to increase state funding for water infrastructure.

This session, he was the chief author of CGMC-supported legislation to allocate $67 million in state bonding to the Public Facilities Authority (PFA) for its clean water infrastructure grant and loan programs.

Although the legislature failed to pass a bonding bill this year, his efforts helped move the issue forward and set up a solid foundation for seeking significant funding in 2020.

“Sen. Dahms has long been a key supporter of many Greater Minnesota initiatives,” said Ron Johnson, a member of the Bemidji city council and president of the CGMC. “In recent years, he has been a champion in helping rural communities address drinking water and wastewater challenges. We look forward to continuing to work with him to help make progress on this critical issue.”

CGMC is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization representing 97 cities outside of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The coalition educates legislators about issues important to Greater Minnesota.