Legacy bill passes Senate

The Senate passed the legacy bill this week, appropriating a total of $629 million from the Outdoor Heritage fund, Clean Water Fund, Parks and Trails Fund, and Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. The four funds were established by the “legacy amendment,” approved by Minnesota’s voters in 2008. The bill provides funds for hundreds of projects around the state, from prairie and forest habitat, to clean water activities, parks and trails, zoos and museums, arts and cultural heritage, and more.

The bill:

  • Maintains the recommendations of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council for zero appropriations from the Outdoor Heritage Fund.
  • Retains some Clean Water Fund appropriations as recommended by the Clean Water Council but reduces many others in order to continue funding soil and water conservation district administration grants from the Clean Water Fund.
  • Maintains the 40:40:20 parks and trails distribution for spending from the Parks and Trails Fund, so 40% goes to the DNR for state parks and trails, 40% to the Metropolitan Council for metro parks and trails, and 20% to Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails.
  • Keeps the current 47% distribution to the Minnesota State Arts Board from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
  • Creates a new competitive grant process for children’s museums (except for those in St. Paul and Rochester, which receive appropriations), to be administered by the Minnesota Humanities Center.
  • Establishes a new competitive “Community Identity and Heritage Grant Program,” to be operated by the Minnesota Humanities Center. 

(SF 836)