Looking at new laws going into effect in 2022 one stood out—Free State Park permits for Indians.

This law came out of the Legislature’s 2021 Special Session and the SF 20, Environment and Natural Resources omnibus bill. It was signed into law by Gov. Walz on June 29, 2021.

SF20 was controversial in part because of the electric car mandate. But a lot of other laws were missed by the public. One was the Free State Park Permit for Indians. The new law reads:

“As of Jan. 1, 2022, any member of the 11 federally recognized tribes in Minnesota is eligible for an annual state park permit for no charge. The permit is valid only when displayed on a vehicle owned and occupied by the person to whom the permit is issued. Additionally, the Department of Natural Resources may issue a free daily state park permit to a qualifying individual who does not own or operate a motor vehicle.

Now how, exactly, is this not a strictly racist and discriminatory law?