Garner Award presented for Sophia's Law

By Hannah Helsby posted 10-11-2017 02:06 PM


Garner Award presented to Minnesota Legislators for Sophia's Law

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) presents Minnesota legislators, Senator Melisa Franzen & Representative Jerry Hertaus the 2017 NASBLA Garner Leadership Award for Sophia’s Law.

Established in tribute of William B. Garner, who successfully marshalled the nation's first boat operator licensing law through state legislature, the Garner Award is presented to those men and women whose outstanding effort and achievement have elevated state or federal policy interventions to heights not previously attained.


After the tragic loss of a seven-year-old girl named Sophia to carbon monoxide poisoning in Minnesota, Senator Franzen and Representative Hertaus came together with Sophia’s parents to try to find a way to prevent future carbon monoxide tragedies. After working with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and other organizations, they crafted a bill that would give Minnesota the most stringent carbon monoxide laws in the nation while balancing the capabilities of industry to be able to respond to the law. They guided the bill through the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives, ensuring the bill was passed and gained the governor’s signature.


Because of their persistence, partnership, and leadership, which resulted in the passing of Sophia’s Law, the 2017 NASBLA Garner Leadership Award is given to Senator Melisa Franzen & Representative Jerry Hertaus. The award was announced at the 2017 NASBLA annual conference and was presented in person to Senator Franzen and Representative Hertaus at the Minnesota State Capitol on October 11, 2017.