Today, with broad bipartisan support, the Minnesota Senate unanimously passed the Legacy Finance bill authored by Senator Carrie Ruud (R-Breezy Point). This bill appropriates $645.6 million to the Outdoor Heritage Fund, the Clean Water Fund, the Parks and Trails Fund, and the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Senate File 971 focuses on providing key appropriations that will preserve, protect, and maintain Minnesota’s natural resources.
“Minnesota has been blessed with an abundance of natural resources that are important to maintain, and the appropriations we have in this bill focus on doing just that,” said Sen. Ruud. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done and continue to do to restore and preserve our state’s natural treasures. We are surrounded by incredible beauty across Minnesota, and we must continue to protect our lands and habitats for future generations.”
In 2008, Minnesotans voted to amend the State Constitution to include the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment (referred to informally as the Legacy Amendment). This amendment allocated three-eighths of one percent of the sales tax to contribute to four funds that aim to protect drinking water sources, restore and enhance habitats across the state, preserve arts and cultural heritage, support parks and trails, and protect and enhance lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater.
Other notable provisions include:
- Fully accepts $128 million recommendation from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Fund, and the full recommendation of $110.6 million for the Parks and Trails Fund.
- The Clean Water Fund will receive $256.7 million. This includes funding for the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, and the Public Facilities Authority.
- Appropriates key funding to the Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources, and the University of Minnesota to protect, maintain, and invest in our state’s water systems
- $149.7 million for the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, of which 47% will be dedicated to the State Arts Board. It also allocates money to the Minnesota Historical Society and the Humanities Center.