This year, Senate DFLers sought to make the Legacy bill more reflective of the diversity within our own communities. We passed a bill that upheld historical funding practices for the Outdoor Heritage Fund, Clean Water Fund, and Parks and Trails Fund, and in addition to standard funding for agencies with the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, we also included projects that were heard in the Environment, Climate, and Legacy committee during session. Our Legacy budget balances historical practices with expanded opportunities for groups normally overlooked during the grantmaking process.

  • The $171.79 million from the Outdoor Heritage Fund follows the funding recommendations from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC)
  • The $318.4 million from the Clean Water Fund funds all of the projects and programs recommended by the Clean Water Council, with one addition made from a legislative proposal heard in committee
  • The $136.6 million from the Parks and Trails Fund follows the historic 40:40:20 allocation ration of 40% for state parks and trails, 40% for metro regional parks and trails, and 20% for Greater Minnesota regional parks and trails
  • The $191.95 million from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund includes the standard 47% of funding for the State Arts Board and also includes over $10 million for nearly 50 programs and projects that were carried by DFL and Republican members; we also included over $9 million for competitive Community Identity and Heritage Grants for underrepresented groups

In addition to the funding in this year’s Legacy budget, we also included several policy changes aimed at expanding access to the projects and programs funded by our Legacy dollars.

  • Parks and trails that receive funding and typically charge admittance will be required to provide at least 4 days of free admission to the public each year
  • Projects funded throughout the bill will be required to look at new ways to connect with diverse and underrepresented communities, whether it’s through training and education, celebrating diversity, targeted outreach, and connecting a diversity of students to career pathways
  • Requiring certain percentages of future funding to be directed to projects and groups that have never previously been funded, whenever possible
Jess Yeganeh