A late change in legislation appropriating funds for the dedicated Clean Water, Outdoor Heritage and Arts and Cultural Heritage Funds could put grants for the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota in jeopardy. Senator Kathy Sheran, a strong advocate for the children’s museum, expressed her disappointment with the last second move.
“The language passed in the Senate allocated $332,000 to the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota,” said Sen. Sheran. “It was clear that the children’s museum’s request met the requirements and deserved the funding. It is very disappointing to see that the Senate’s language did not prevail.”
The language adopted will pit children’s museums against each other as they apply for competitive grants. Sen. Sheran is worried about the affect this will have on rural communities.
“This plan places these museums into a competitive grant process that will seriously hinder smaller children’s museums, especially those located in rural Minnesota, from receiving these dollars,” said Sen. Sheran. “The Legacy funds are meant to benefit all Minnesotans. It is the duty of the Legislature to guarantee that these dollars are spent in a fair efficient manner. Unfortunately, this legislation puts our rural communities at a disadvantage.”
The funds would be used to expand hands-on learning for children by adding 6,000 square feet of exhibits at the Mankato site. The legislation passed in the Senate and House on the final day of the Legislative session (May 23). Governor Dayton will have three days to approve or veto the Legislature’s plan.