An agreement reached among the Legacy Finance Committee leadership brought the bill one step closer to becoming law this week. If passed, the legislation would appropriate funds from the four ‘legacy’ funds that were established by Constitutional Amendment approved by Minnesota voters in 2008. The four funds – the Outdoor Heritage Fund, the Clean Water Fund, the Parks and Trails Fund, and the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund – were established to provide ongoing support to projects across the state that protect and enhance water quality, provide access to the arts, preserve Minnesota’s rich history and cultural heritage, and maintain our parks and trails.
The legislation is typically noncontroversial and is widely celebrated for the deep investments it makes in projects and heritage that reflect Minnesota’s values for protecting and enhancing our environment and outdoor recreation as well as the rich culture and history that makes our state such a special place. This year’s bill is no different – it contains the recommendations from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council; provides equitable funding for state parks, Greater Minnesota regional parks, and metro parks; largely includes the recommendations from the Clean Water Council; and provides sizeable investments in many different arts and history projects, including $5 million in competitive grants for community identity and heritage programs.
The House is expected to take up the Legacy bill late in the week and, once passed, will send it to the Senate for a chamber vote. If approved by both bodies, it will be sent to the governor for his signature. (HF 13)