DFL-controlled House approves amendment making Lake Calhoun/Bde Maka Ska name change permanent

DFL-controlled House approves amendment making Lake Calhoun/Bde Maka Ska name change permanent Photo: KSTP

April 30, 2019 06:19 PM

The DFL-controlled Minnesota House of Representatives on Tuesday amended the Omnibus Environment and Natural Resources bill to make permanent the changing of the name of Lake Calhoun to Bde Maka Ska.

The move came one day after the Minnesota State Court of Appeals ruled the Minnesota DNR did not have the authority to change the name of the Minneapolis lake.


RELATED: Minneapolis Park and Rec. Board president responds to ruling on Lake Calhoun/Bde Maka Ska name change

"We started working on it right away," Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein, DFL-New Brighton, said. "Drafting the kind of language that would allow for that name to remain permanent."

The amendment passed with no debate, though there were several audible no votes, KSTP's Tom Hauser reports.

The amendment would only address the renaming of Lake Calhoun, while future naming controversies would be addressed in broader legislation later. Kunesh-Podein said the goal is to address the matter-at-hand now, then "take our time to make sure we're getting it right in the long run."

But, a similar measure would likely face tougher going in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says any decision on renaming the lake will be made by the legislature after more debate, which means it could be too late in the session to settle the issue, Hauser reports.

"I want open discussion," Gazelka said. "The courts have already ruled that it's the legislative process. It's going to go through the process."

The name of the lake was officially changed to Bde Maka Ska in early 2018 after the DNR approved the results of earlier votes by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners.

RELATED: 'Save Lake Calhoun' website domain purchased, message changed

A statement from the DNR Monday said the agency was examining the court's decision and has 30 days to petition the Minnesota Supreme Court for a review.

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