Senator Scott Dibble first became involved in politics in the mid-1980's working on issues concerning the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) communities including HIV/AIDS. His involvement led to organizing on issues of social and economic justice—especially in the areas of neighborhood livability, transportation, housing, energy and the environment.
He later worked as aide to Minneapolis City Council Member Doré Mead for about 6 years. In 2000, Dibble ran for a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives, becoming the third openly gay legislator to serve in the Minnesota Legislature. After serving one term in the House, Dibble ran for State Senate in 2002 where he is now serving in his third term.
Senator Dibble has played a key role in a number of legislative successes. They include passage of an historic transportation funding measure, enactment of the Freedom to Breathe Act (ensuring clean indoor air for all workers) and approval of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act. As the Chair of the Senate's Transit Subdivision, Senator Dibble played a pivotal role in the override of Governor Pawlenty's veto of a vital transportation improvement bill that will allow the Twin Cities to build a transit system for the 21st century. He was also asked to serve on a special investigative committee that looked into the tragic collapse of the I-35W Bridge. Senator Dibble continues to be a leader in the Minnesota Senate on legislation relating to transportation and transit, energy efficiency, the environment, housing and economic development. He served as chief author of legislation to merge the closed Police and Fire pension funds with a state system, saving Minneapolis property tax payers $26 million in 2012, provided leadership to prevent neighborhood programs from total elimination, has been the legislative leader on bullying prevention and HIV/AIDS issues. Also in his portfolio of legislative accomplishments are the tenant bill of rights; leadership on key capital bonding projects such as light rail transit, high speed rail, the Minnesota Orchestra; improvements for Minneapolis Community and Technical College; establishing more solar energy; a response to the foreclosure crisis; fighting on behalf of tipped employees; protecting the renter's credit. He has long championed housing and job supports for those with disabilities and mental illness.
Senator Dibble has helped position Minnesota as a leader among the states that are working to solve critical clean air, global warming, and economic challenges. Senator Dibble has served as chief author or as a lead negotiator on groundbreaking energy efficiency standards, implementation of a nation-leading renewable energy standard, establishment of a carbon dioxide reduction mandate, instituting the nation's most stringent mercury emission reduction requirements for coal-fired energy, the first legislation in the country on hybrid plug in electric cars, programs to aid the construction of green buildings and to assist local governments in building more energy efficient facilities. Senator Dibble helped author and served on the state's Green Jobs Task Force charged with developing a comprehensive economic development policy charged with shaping Minnesota's participation in the Green Economy for generations to come.
Senator Dibble has helped lead the charge defending against numerous attacks on human rights over the past 12 years, especially directed against the LGBT community. He helped defeat a proposed anti-marriage constitutional amendment successfully for a number of years, until its passage in May of 2011. He is now helping lead the campaign for its defeat on the ballot in November of2012.
Standing Senate Committees: Transportation Committee (Ranking DFL member), Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications Committee, and Taxes Committee.
Joint Legislative Committees: Legislative Energy Commission, Legislative Commission on Metropolitan Government, Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement
Taskforces: Mileage Based User Fee study, Public Private Partnerships, Governor's Task Force on the Prevention of Bullying
National Leadership: Past Chair (2009-2010) of the National Conference of State Legislature's Transportation Committee, Member Public Private Partnership TaskForce, past board member of Center for Policy Alternative and Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute.
He lives in Uptown, in the East Isles neighborhood. He is married to his husband, Richard Leyva. In his spare time, Senator Dibble is an avid runner, swimmer, weight lifter, triathlete and has run in several marathons. He loves theater, film, reading, cooking, and travel.