Sigh... Environment bill signed. Legacy funds shifted.

by Trevor Russell

Photo from the Star Tribune, Brian Petersen

Gov. Mark Dayton recently signed the environment bill. We're pretty sure that when Minnesotans passed the Legacy Amendment, this isn't what they — what we — had in mind. Essentially, the bill shifts voter-mandated conservation funds to administrative costs. 

For details see this Star Tribune article by Tom Meersman, but the gist is that this is a $22 million raid — 10 percent of the Legacy Amendment's Clean Water Fund dollars — for something that in the past has been paid for in the general fund. Using buffers as coverage is very worrisome and dubiously constitutional.

Thank you to everyone who weighed in to protect the integrity of the Legacy Amendment. I and the rest of the FMR Advocacy Team hope to be in touch with our River Guardians soon about a legislative recap happy hour. (If you'd like to be invited, you can still sign up to be a River Guardian. We do both state or Legislative and community-based advocacy for the river, so there will still be plenty of opportunities to learn more and take action.)