Now Reading
House passes Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund appropriations, without formal commission recommendation – Session Daily

House passes Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund appropriations, without formal commission recommendation – Session Daily

Voting on the proposal that received highest scores from Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (the House), the House passed the annual appropriations bill from TheEnvironment and Natural Resources Trust FundThursday

Each year, the commission makes recommendations about how to use money from the fund. It is funded by proceeds from state lottery. This year, the 17-member commission was formed.CommissionThe group, which included legislators and citizens, couldn’t reach a formal recommendation for the funds for fiscal year 2023.

Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, sponsored HF3765. This proposal received the most votes from the commission. Ten members voted in support of the proposal, two fewer than the required formal recommendation.

The bill was passed 72-60 by the House and sent to the Senate. It would draw $70.88million from the fund to finance several programs.

Hansen stated that there are things I like that weren’t scored high and things that I don’t like that were high. But we all went to school. All of us get a passing grade, and that’s all that’s ahead. We are going on merit. These scores were our criteria.

The bill would apply:

  • $26.47 million for 10 projects in relation to land acquisition and habitat;
  • 14 projects that focus on methods to restore, protect and enhance land and water habitats will receive $14.44 million
  • $10.33 million for 18 projects that relate to foundational data and information on natural resources;
  • $6.45 Million for 15 projects in the water resources sector
  • $6.4 million for 2 projects related to terrestrial and aquatic invasive species
  • 12 projects related to environmental education cost $4.64 million
  • $1.77 million to fund two projects related o air quality and renewable energy.
  • $382,000 for two appropriations for the Department of Natural Resources to address administrative and emerging issues.

The House committee and floor debates were dominated by the issue of not receiving formal recommendations. Rep. Josh Heintzeman (R-Nisswa), stated that the commission has not provided a formal recommendation in two of the past three years.

Heintzeman suggested that we could be looking at a continuation in a trend that will, quite honestly speaking, do exactly what youre describing. It will create a situation where the Senates will have their version. Rep. Hansen has your version of the bill, and that is a recipe for gridlock.

Based on another set commission recommendations, the companionSF4043The Senate Rules Administration Committee sponsored the bill. Torrey Westrom (R – Elbow Lake) awaits action from Senate Rules and Administration Committee.

Hansen stated that reconciling the bills will be difficult.

I am bringing you the items that got the most votes. Perhaps the supermajority was too much in today’s divided climate.

See Also

Rebecca Nash (director of the commission) stated that the commission received 189 proposal proposals, totaling $142million in requests. The requests were reduced to 99 proposals, each worth $106 million, and scored.

Rep. Tama Theis, R-St. Cloud). There are many projects I believe are worthy. But there are others I have reservations about. It’s really frustrating that there isn’t much compromise on what we want. It is easy to see the lines drawn.

Hansen agreed to Heintzeman’s assessment that the commission is not functioning properly and suggested reform. Hansen believes his bill is the best choice for this year.

Hansen stated that, overall, it is a very good bill. It has some great things. Could it be more? Yes. Every piece of legislation can be improved. We must reform the LCCMR, I believe. I think that reforming the LCCMR is necessary before the question is put on the Minnesota voters’ ballot. It will show that we believe that Minnesotans can do better and that we will demonstrate that. Send them to Governor this year to show that you can do your work.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.